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Moscow Patriarchy not willing to continue the dialogue with the Evangelistic Church of Germany in the preceding outline ( 12.12.2009 )

The Russian Church is not ready and willing to proceed the dialogue with the Evangelistic Church of Germany (ECG) in a form which was practiced until now, but they are ready and open to talk about the existing differences.

“Though we have never been familiar with the presence of protestant priests in church communities, and consequently we do not distinguish them as “Churches” in the meaning of word that we comprehend, we were conducting a dialogue with some of them in the form “Church – Church” – stated President of the Foreign Church Affairs Department of Moscow Patriarchy, Archbishop Hillarion Volkolamskii in his letter to the President of ECG Margot Kessman, and to the Administrator of the Ecumenical and Overseas Affairs of this organisation, Martin Schindehute.

 “However – continued the Metropolitan – their position has changed, so that a female became Head of the Evangelistic Church of Germany. Accordingly, this turned out to be the basic issue for the probability this dialogue to be continued in the previous frames.”

According to the words of Archbishop Hillarion, such preference proves that regardless of the fifty-yeаr dialogue with the Оrthodox, “the second party employs the method which dramatically strains the differences between our traditions.”

“We can’t ignore, in no way, the attitude of our believers, and for them any dialogue, meeting or talks with a Church which Head of Church is a woman, is absolutely unacceptable” – is noted in the Letter, which was published at the web-site of the Foreign Church Affairs Department of Moscow Patriarchy.

Archbishop expressed his regret, because the festivities in the occasion of the fifty-year anniversary of the ecumenical dialogue between the Russian Church and ECG have been cancelled unilaterally, due to the most recent decision of the Evangelistic Church of Germany.

“I feel sorry that the jubilee of our dialogue, which brought many good crops in the past, became in the same time the end of the dialogue in this form, which existed for half a century”, - is stated further on in the Letter.  

In the same time, the archpriest accented that neither him, nor anyone of his associates declared “brake of the relations with the Evangelistic Church of Germany” notwithstanding the “statements in some Russian public relation sources”.

“We highly appreciate the long-years friendship with German Protestants, and the practice of ecumenical dialogue will unconditionally be valuable, in the future” – accented further Archbishop Hillarion.

He expressed his readiness after some time breather, in a peaceful atmosphere, the emerged situation to be considered” and to visit Germany in the spring of 2010.


Source: Interfax