Thursday, May 3, 2018

Russian spokesman speaks to Orthodox-Catholic relations

Moscow, May 3 (Interfax) - Head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk does not agree with those who believe that Orthodox and Catholic Churches will eventually overcome their division.

"Despite the fact that our faith bases on the similar foundations and almost the same Creed, the Catholics have different teaching about the Holy Spirit. Secondly, for almost a thousand-year history of separate existence we have accumulated many contradictions and disagreements," he said on air The Church and the World TV program on Rossiya-24 TV, commenting recent statement of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople about inevitable unification of two Christian branches.

He also said that the Russian Orthodox Church considers heretics and persecutors of Orthodoxy some people recognized as saints by the Catholic Church.

"Catholics speak about possible canonization of Cardinal Stepinac. He was a Croatian cardinal, the Catholic Church treats him as saint. However, according to the Serbian Orthodox Church, the cardinal directly participated in genocide of Serbs during World War II," the hierarch reminded.

Metropolitan Hilarion pointed out to some other arguments, proving that unification of the Churches is impossible in foreseeable prospect. Among them are numerous attempts of imposing the Unia on Orthodox believers during the Crusades and contemporary active anti-Orthodox activities of Uniates in Ukraine.


  1. Wasn’t there a joint commission set up to discuss the Croatian cardinal? And didn’t John Paul 2 apologize for the atrocities of The crusades? I think there are also intra orthodox problems in Ukraine that can’t be pinned on the UGCC

  2. That is the thing about the Old World, they claim to forgive and yet....pick at the 800 year old scab and see if we can make it bleed again.

  3. Bravo to both Tom and Bozo2U!

    There are problems between the Churches but when do we forgive and when do we grow up? Does Christ's prayer for unity mean nothing?

  4. These are really worn out arguments. The real problem is that certain Patriarchs (many years) simply do not want unity. They will be sorely disappointed, as the Lord will have His way.

  5. Jonathan is correct regarding the fact that this is a worn out argument. In fact, there is no argument at all. The Holy Orthodox Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. The Latin Church separated more than a thousand years ago and since that time.....they have adopted many innovations and heresies. The true Church is not able to unite with a heretical organization. Rome would have to renounce Her heresies and innovations and beg for forgiveness.

  6. This isn't about "forgiving" someone-- it's about what the truth is. The true faith taught for a thousand years that the eternal hypostatic origin of the Holy Spirit is the Father alone, and interpreted the Gospel sayings of Christ in this way. St. John Damascene recorded this, among many others. If a single letter (homoiousios) could render the truth into heresy, how much more this innovation? Aquinas actually makes bold to cite Maimonides against St. John of Damascus on this point. The Latins doubled down on the error and attempted a style of primacy never before contemplated by the canons, and this after the political fragmentation of the empire.

  7. " this after the political fragmentation of the empire. "

    Key. Both the west (Rome/Protestantism) and this Church of the East we are a part are still grappling with the fragmentation and dissolution of the Empire.