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Russian Orthodox official says major differences with Vatican remain

March 11, 2016

Despite the historic 'summit meeting' between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, there remain serious differences between the Holy See and the Russian Orthodox Church, according to the chief ecumenical officer of the Moscow patriarchate.

Metropolitan Hilarion said that Moscow and Rome have come together on "many vital problems of modernity," but remain separated by disagreements on other issues. He cited especially the Eastern-rite Ukrainian Catholic Church, saying that tension on that score "again and again ruins attempts to establish dialogue, to bolster mutual understanding and to bring our positions together."

Metropolitan Hilarion again raised the complaint-- often advanced by Russian Orthodox leaders-- that Ukrainian Catholics had "seized" churches from the Ukrainian Orthodox in the early 1990s. The Moscow patriarchate has never acknowledged that many of these churches had belonged to Catholic parishes, but had been confiscated by the government during the Communist regime, and turned over to more docile Orthodox clerics. 


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  • Posted by: - Mar. 11, 2016 11:25 PM ET USA

    those churches were confiscated by the Russian Orthodox church. The Eastern-rite Ukrainian Catholic Church was only taking back what belonged to them in the first place. Patriarch Kiril & Metropolitan Hilarian need a history lesson.