Saturday, February 16, 2013

Words of Praise from Russian Orthodox Leaders for Benedict XVI

Kyrill I: In the “difficult situation”, in which western Christianity today finds itself, the Pope “courageously” defends the positions and moral values of his church.

Moscow(kath.net/KNA) The Head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kyrill I, has recently found words of praise for Pope Benedict XVI.. In the “difficult situation” in which western Christianity finds itself, the Pope has defended “courageously” the positions and moral values of his church said Kyrill II according to church reports of Sunday evening during a meeting with the new Russian Ambassador to the Holy See, Alexander Awdrejew. Without these positions the Church would not be able to endure any longer and be transformed into a “mixture of various Christian organizations”.

The Patriarch stresses at the same time the stand points of the Russian Orthodox and the Catholic Church agree in the “most significant questions of the past”. Both churches should continue to work together, so that the Christian message as much in the East as also in the West will be convincingly preached. Kremlin Chief, Vladimir Putin had named the former Russian Culture Minister Awdejew as Ambassador of to the Holy See in January.

Since the election of Benedict XVI., the diplomatic and ecumenical relations between the Russian Orthodox and Catholic Church have been remarkably improved. According to the political change of 1989, the Moscow Patriarchate reproached Rome for building of Catholic church structures in the states of the earlier Soviet Union, to serve to proselytize their faithful. The Patriarchate consider the Federation States as the canonical territory of Orthodoxy.

 Link to kath.net…


Also a Russian Orthodox theologian has his own words of praise for Pope Benedict:

Russian scholar praises Benedict XVI, slams John Paul II

Moscow, February 12, Interfax - Outgoing Pope Benedict XVI "has been able to strengthen the Catholic Church and improve relations with" the Russian Orthodox Church, a Russian religious scholar said.

"His decision to resign deserves respect. He has been a powerful leader, and would be able to continue his mission successfully if it weren't for his age," Roman Silantyev told Interfax-Religion.

Benedict took charge of what was "a church that had been seriously weakend by his predecessor," Silantyev said.

"John Paul II wanted to be liked by everyone, and as a result he did huge harm to the Catholics, turning millions of people away from his Church. His tenure saw mass-scale closures or conversions of Catholic Churches in Europe. Seminaries with histories spanning many centuries lost their students, and orphanages in Third World countries became the main source of new clergy," the scholar said.

During Benedict's tenure, "the useless 'thrust toward the East' [alleged proselytism by Uniates], which was taking up huge resources, has come to an end, there has been an improvement in relations with the Russian Orthodox Church, which has proved to be the Vatican's main ally in asserting the Christian way of life in the European Union," Silantyev said.

Benedict "hasn't had the idee fixe of coming to Moscow because he has repeatedly met with the incumbent Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia anyway," he said.

"It appears to be most likely that an Italian cardinal will be elected to this post," Silantyev said.

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