Pope: Catholics won’t ‘meddle’ in internal affairs of Orthodox Church

5 June 2018, 12:32 | Society-digest | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

Cindy Wooden

4 June 2018 Catholic News Service

The Catholic Church respects the Russian Orthodox Church, its status in Russia and its right to handle its own internal affairs, Pope Francis said.

As some Ukrainian politicians and leaders of some Ukrainian Orthodox communities work for the establishment of a unified Ukrainian Orthodox church completely independent of Moscow, Pope Francis told Russian Orthodox leaders that any Catholics taking a side on the matter “are not obeying the Holy See.”

Pope Francis met May 30 with a delegation from the Russian Orthodox Church led by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of external relations for the church. The Vatican published the pope’s remarks to the group June 2.

“The Catholic Church, the Catholic churches must not meddle in the internal affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church nor in political questions,” the pope said. “This is my attitude and the attitude of the Holy See today. And those who meddle are not obeying the Holy See.”

“The Catholic Church will never allow an attitude of division to be born from among its members. We will never allow this. I don’t want this,” the pope told the group.

“In Moscow, in Russia, there is only one patriarchate — yours,” he said. “We will never have another.”

In April, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, with the support of the Ukrainian parliament, along with the bishops of two Ukrainian Orthodox communities — the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church — formally petitioned Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to recognize the independence, or autocephaly, of a unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

But the third community of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine, usually referred to as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate because of its full unity with the Russian Orthodox Church, objected.

A statement April 25 from the office of Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, said the Eastern Catholic community sees the request as something “positive, but it is not participating and is not involved in this process because it is an internal affair of the Orthodox churches.”

Still, the statement said, “The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church considers this process an important step toward overcoming the divisions among the Ukrainian Orthodox churches and their isolation in the Orthodox world.

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Last comments

  • Михаил | 17 June 2018, 21:47

    Вдумайтесь, без криков, истерик и "патриотизма". Кому предоставлять автокефалию? Единой Украинской церкви? А где она? Для начала её надо создать. А потом уже, даже не предоставлять

  • Mauricio | 16 June 2018, 04:47

    He is preparing to announce recognition of the one and only UOC. The so called UOC-MP will be just what it is : ROC. A parasite in Ukraine

  • mischa | 15 June 2018, 22:13

    Моливо якщо буде Божа Воля, то многостраждальна Україна отримає томос і стане канонічною об'єднаною православною країною. Божа любов переможе.

  • Jim Dietrich | 15 June 2018, 20:25

    Several years ago, the Orthodox Patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem met as a group and issued a joint declaration that Ukraine is NOT part of the canonical territory of

  • В. Ясеневий | 14 June 2018, 20:59

    "ЄНТО просто геполитика,-" це ніяке не пояснення, пане Агвінатус складної ситуації в нашій УКРАЇНІ. Це нгаду мені так зване пояснення : це просто вода і вона мокра...А звідки вона взялася

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