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Russian Orthodox official lauds improved Catholic-Orthodox relations

March 22, 2011

Calling for a “strategic alliance” in which Catholic and Orthodox believers act as “allies,” the Russian Orthodox Church’s chief ecumenical officer lauded the “real positive results in normalization of Orthodox-Catholic relations in recent years.”

“Especially significant changes in this direction have happened after election of Pope Benedict XVI of Rome in 2005, as he knows the Orthodox Church very well,” said Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk. “Today, for example, we don't see aggressive proselytizing activity of Catholics in our territory that took place in early 90s.”

“Orthodox and Catholics face the same challenges cast by modern epoch to the traditional lifestyle,” he added, referring threats of human life, marriage, and the family. “Here it's not the matter of theological issues, but present and future of human community is in question.”


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  • Posted by: John Chrysostom - Mar. 22, 2011 8:41 PM ET USA

    The "aggressive proselytizing activity of Catholics" referred to by Metropolitan Hilarion in the 1990s is mostly the re-emergence of the Greek Catholic Church (Ukraine and elsewhere), but also the re-organization of dioceses for Latin Catholics in Russia.