Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Not in it for a photo op

More words from Moscow; they are basically a reiteration of the standard line. The third paragraph is rather interesting in its directness.

Moscow, December 28, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate awaits Vatican’s concrete actions that would corroborate its intention to overcome current conflicts, in particular, proselytism practiced by the catholics in Russia and the CIS countries and the uniates’ expansion in Ukraine.

‘It is early yet to speak about any concrete rapprochement. We welcome the statement of the new Pope about the necessity to continue dialogue. We hope that this statement will be followed by actions’, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II said in an interview published by BBC Russian.

‘Why to meet (with the Pope - IF) in front of TV cameras? Just to show to the world that there are no problems between us? But we have problems, don’t we? Such meetings should be well prepared. The problems worrying the Russian Orthodox church and its flock should be solved for the meeting to take place’, the patriarch added.

Read the complete article Vatican’s move against proselytism and Greek Catholic expansion would ensure meeting with the Pope of Rome from Interfax.

The Patriarch of Moscow also laments the attempts to break off the Ukrainian Church from Moscow.

He also regretted the attempts of some Ukrainian politicians to interfere in church affairs. ‘Some politicians have been striving to establish a church independent from Moscow at all costs. It is cutting an open wound! There are many mixed marriages; we venerate many saints together!’ Alexy II noted.

This paragraph is interesting in that while the rest of the article seems to make the Greek Catholic Church the big bogeyman in Ukraine, the patriarch here acknowledges that his flock in that country battle not only the Catholics, but other Orthodox factions as well. He also ought to know full well why Ukrainian politicians aren't that keen on ties with Russia, given Russian attempts to interfere with internal politics, elections, etc.

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