Gutted: Meeting between Pope Benedict and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kiril not on the cards in the near future

Ugh, I’m gutted to read of this. As long time readers will know, I dream of the day the two great lungs of Christendom finally join together once again, to breath deeply of that wondrous and tantalising aroma of full and joint communion. It’s the only way forward to truly re-evangelise Europe in my opinion. I think I most recently blogged on this issue back in June if you’re interested.

I doubt the great schism will be reversed in my lifetime…but I can live in hope….

A meeting between the Pope and the head of Russia’s Orthodox Christian church is not on the cards in the near future, Patriarch Kirill said.

“For such a meeting to succeed we need to solve, or at put some serious effort at solving, our issues,” Kirill told the Serbian Vecernje Novosti daily in an interview published on Sunday.

A meeting between Kirill and Benedict – the first in the history of both denominations – was last discussed in the media in February 2011, when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited the Vatican and had an audience with the Pope. However, no such meeting followed.

The previous heads of two churches, Patriarch Alexy II and Pope John Paul II, had a meeting scheduled in 1997, but the plan fell through at the last minute over disputes concerning Catholic proselytism in Russia and a conflict over Greek Catholics in Ukraine.


Protect the Pope has picked up on this and has some interesting comments.

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7 Responses to “Gutted: Meeting between Pope Benedict and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kiril not on the cards in the near future”

  1. berenike Says:

    We do have two lungs. Numbers don’t make someone right, and the fact that there are more Orthodox than Greek or oriental Catholics doesn’t make the Orthodox the eastern lung of the Church.

    Even if one did accept the presupposition of this “one day we will breathe with both lungs” stuff, which Orthodox Church coming out of schism would count as breathing with two lungs? All of them? One of them? Majority by number of people in them? Majority by number of churches?

  2. Caral Says:

    I’m sadden by it too.

    Let us continue to pray and come into agreement with our Lord, and His prayer for us all.

    “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one…..I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

  3. Marprelate Says:

    Kirill is not representative of the Orthodox Churches, even though he likes to think he is. The Russian Orthodox Church is far too close to the Putinist State for comfort and in practice it is numerically very weak, despite the propaganda to the contrary,

    It’s far better and more profitable to concentrate on the very positive and warm relationship between the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Benedict.

  4. Richard B Says:

    Amen to John 17.23 – but that means radical evangelism! And I don’t think most church leaders are up for that…just yet. But we’re getting there.

    It will propbably take a return to post-Pentecost times of Holy Spirit’s full empowerment for such unity to be achieved. As demonstrated many times in recent months, when His Presence is tangibly manifest then every shred of denominationalism disappears. He convicts those who need to repent, brings healing and fulness of joy, adoration and worship.

    Perhaps those ‘stand-ins’ for Jesus need to heed pentecostal pastor John Kilpatrick’s advice: when Holy Spirit is seen to be upon someone then allow Him full and immediate access into any meeting. That is, do not quench the Holy Spirit (1Thess 5.19).

  5. berenike Says:

    In other Christian unity news, an Orthodox monk was received by an SSPX bishop and this seems to have been recognised by Rome (else, why would he have been appointed monsignor?) Now this is very very interesting!

  6. Philip Says:

    I too, as a Russian Orthodox believer, hope there will be unity one day across the one One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. But for that to happen there must be a realisation that the wrongs perpetrated against the Orthodox countries and the Orthodox Church (not just Rus [modern day Russia/Belarus/Ukraine] from early times have created an atmosphere of understandable mistrust. I could bang on about Pope Innocent III and the Livonian Knights’ crusades in the East, Carpatho-Russia, Lemkos, Uniates etc, but suffice it to say whilst we can all act as grown ups in the West, there is much which is yet to be made right in the East. Lets us pray that sensible heads rule the day rather than some of the hotheads on both sides who continue to politicise religion. I shall leave you with this to ponder:
    The Orthodox Creed
    The Nicene (325 AD) and Constantinople (381 AD) Creed

    I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;
    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-Begotten, begotten of the Father before all worlds [1],
    Light of Light, Very God of Very God [2] , begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father; by Whom all things were made.
    Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man;
    And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried;
    The third day He arose again, according to the Scriptures;
    And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father;
    And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead;
    Whose Kingdom shall have no end.
    And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father;
    Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets.
    And I believe in One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
    I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sin.
    I look for the Resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
    [1]before all ages
    [2]True God of True God

  7. webmaster Says:

    Lovely, wise words. Thank you Philip.

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