Archbishop in Moscow Wants Orthodox to Clarify Terms

Aims to Make Progress in Ecumenism

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ROME, OCT. 7, 2002 ( In the quest for dialogue among Christian confessions in Russia, the terms that cause division must be clarified, says the head of the Catholic bishops’ conference.

Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow expressed this conviction when he attended the plenary assembly of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), being held in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

According to the SIR agency, Archbishop Kondrusiewicz stressed that Polish-born Bishop Jerzy Mazur and some Catholic priests were expelled from Russia “for no reason at all,” while the “Dalai Lama, two Protestant pastors and two Muslim religious have been denied an entry visa.”

In the present context, “it is urgent to clarify and reach an agreement on the theological principles of respective positions in regard to the concepts of mission, proselytism and canonical territory,” the president of the Catholic bishops’ conference in Russia insisted.

“Along this line, the ecumenical movement itself must develop in a spirit of charity, truth and justice, keeping in mind the concrete situation in which it must act,” Archbishop Kondrusiewicz continued.

In his opinion, one cannot underestimate that the relation between the Catholic Church and the Patriarchate of Moscow affect to a large extent the relation with all Orthodox, “given that Russia is the major Orthodox Church of the world.”

“Moreover, the world of today pays special attention to the development of relations with Russia, which plays an increasingly significant role in politics and economics,” he said.

Yet, Archbishop Kondrusiewicz said he is confident because, “despite the present difficulties in our relations with the Orthodox Church, the day will come when we will glorify God together and we will help to build a new civilization of love, based on the principles of the Gospel, reciprocal respect and charity.”

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