Wednesday, April 14, 2004

From Itar-TASS
Patriarch of Moscow calls relations between Russian Church and Vatican knotty
Oh, no, not this line again:

“In the first place, there is a problem posed by the Roman Catholics’ missionary activity among the traditional Orthodox population of Russia and other countries of the CIS, and we describe such stratagems as proselytism,” Alexy II said.

I think the patriarch knows the RCs don't target members of his church; he said 'traditional Orthodox population'. Running a soup kitchen, for example, for completely secularized post-Soviet Russians ≠ trying to convert people who are Russian Orthodox. No sale.

Again (sigh), what about Aid to the Church in Need, which has helped rebuild the Russian Orthodox Church, not tear it down?

And again:

Another problem without a solution in sight is the onslaught of the Greek Catholics – the followers of the eastern rite who have been reporting to the Vatican since the 17th century -- on the Russian Orthodoxy (sic) community in the western regions of Ukraine.

'Onslaught'? No, Your Holiness, the Ukrainian Catholics, in their homeland, not yours, took back what the Communists stole from them when they invaded - buildings the Coms gave to your church.

The situation in at least three regions – Lvov, Ternopol, and Ivano-Frankovsk – remains far from normal, as the communities of canonical Russian Orthodoxy have been driven into bay there, Alexy II said.

There never were many Russian Orthodox in those places to begin with! Lvov has been the HQ of the Ukrainian Catholic Church for centuries, during most of which it was part of Poland.

The hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church are particularly alarmed by the Greek Catholics’ plans to press the Vatican for establishing their own patriarchate in Kiev, he said.

That's a valid criticism. Kiev is the patriarch's turf, not the Ukrainian Catholic Church's.

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