The Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s External Church Relations Department, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), stated recently that the Orthodox and Catholic churches should be allies rather than rivals, and work to protect Christianity around the world, and its values. However, he said it was too early to discuss reunification of the two religious bodies.
“We are not talking about the churches’ reunification. However, we are confident that their rapprochement on a number of issues is possible. And, most importantly, we are not rivals, the way it was in the past, we are allies,” he told Russian state news agency TASS.
“Protecting our brothers and sisters living through a real genocide is a pressing task today, and Orthodox Christians and Catholics should work together to solve it,” the metropolitan said.
“Both churches in our country are concerned about the same problems – the crisis of morality in the modern society, a very high divorce and abortion rate and social problems.”
Metropolitan Hilarion noted that the schism between the churches that occurred in 1054 contradicts the will of Jesus Christ for a single church, and, therefore, one cannot put up with the current situation. He noted that the Havana meeting between Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Pope Francis (held on February 12, 2016 – TASS) was conceived as a concrete step towards greater unity, reports TASS.