Monday, July 17, 2006

"More Dialogue, Please...."

A surprisingly positive statement from the Russian Orthodox hierarchs:
These problems [human rights, dignity, and the moral responsibility of the human being] were also discussed at a meeting between head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill with Pope of Rome Benedict XVI last May. They noted the closeness of views of both churches on these problems and their wish to continue common work on a document that would fully reflect the position of the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches. A possible common position on the problem of bioethics was regarded as useful, and the combined efforts of the two Churches to protect and affirm the institute of the family and the value of human life were considered necessary.

The hierarchy of the Russian Church approved the results of the Orthodox-Catholic Conference 'Give a Soul to Europe. The Mission and Responsibility of the Churches' that took place in Vienna earlier in May to discuss such topics as the challenges of globalization, influence of Christian ethics on politics, economics and the mass media, and the dialogue of Churches with other religions and secular humanists.
Given inter-Orthodox tensions between Moscow and Constantinople, and B16's visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in late November, how Rome balances between the two is worth noting.