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Russian Orthodox Patriarch praises 'balanced' Vatican stand on Ukraine

February 04, 2015

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Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow praised the Vatican’s “balanced” public stance on the conflict in Ukraine, while denouncing the “Russophobic” attitude of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, in an address to Orthodox bishops meeting in Moscow.

Russian Orthodox spokesmen have consistently blamed the Byzantine-rite Ukrainian Catholic Church for stirring up resentment against Russia, and Patriarch Kirill reinforced that argument. He charged that Byzantine Catholics precipitated a crisis in Ukraine when the “pushed for the overthrow of the authorities using nationalistic and often Russophobic slogans.”

However the Russian primate took care to distinguish between the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Holy See, saying that the Vatican has “always pursued a balanced stance,” calling for peace talks and cautioning against further violence.

In the same address to the Russian Orthodox hierarchy, Patriarch Kirill also offered a hopeful appraisal of the work of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. He said that disagreements over the last formal statement from that body had been satisfactorily addressed, suggesting that the dialogue could now move forward. The work of the joint commission has been stymied in recent years because of Moscow’s objections.


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  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Feb. 06, 2015 2:49 AM ET USA

    If the Vatican's being praised by Kiril, they must be doing something wrong! Kiril is never right! More specifically, if it's the Ukrainian Catholic Church fomenting discord, why are they supported by the Ukrainian Orthodox who are not aligned with the Moscow Patriarch? Maybe because it's not a Catholic vs Orthodox problem, but a Ukrainian patriots vs Russia-supporting traitors problem! And if the Pope even thinks he is making progress with Kiril, wait til Kiril pulls the rug out in 1-2 months