Russian Orthodox Church calls for Vatican to change its policy towards Russia

The Russian Orthodox Church does not cease to claim the categorical necessity for the Vatican to change its policy towards Russia, said chairman of external church relations department of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Cyril during a phone linkup with readers of the Izvestia newspaper.

"There are two ways for us," he said. "The first way is well known from history - the way of conflict, crusade, using the difficulties of one for a short triumph of the other." This way entails religious wars and people's suffering The other way is, according to him, "rejection of proselytizing, confrontation, attempts to squeeze out the other side and passing to co-operation in the name of promoting Christian moral values in the life of the contemporary secular society." The Metropolitan recalled that the Orthodox Church had proposed this way to Catholics "in a very difficult moment of our history" - during the collapse of the USSR, political, social, an economic upheavals." "We warned our Catholic partners that they should not repeat the mistakes of the past and use these difficulties for an expansion in the post-Soviet territory," Cyril underlined.

In 1989, the Russian Orthodox Church proposed to set up a permanent body for dialogue and consultations between the Orthodox and Catholics, which could help overcome the complex situation in Ukraine and other former Soviet republics. "Unfortunately, this work was discontinued through no fault of ours, although it commenced successfully," the Metropolitan said.

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