Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 312

Breathing ecumenical air

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 7 luglio 2013

One of the most sensitive issues, which was raised at today’s press conference, was the status of the relationship between CEC and the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate.The speakers were His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel has been CEC President since December 2009. As leader of the Orthodox community in France and as President of CEC he has played a key role in preparing for this Assembly.The Moscow Patriarchate suspended full co-operation with CEC in 2008 following CEC being unable to take a decision about whether to admit to membership the Estonian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate. There are two Orthodox churches in Estonia; the Orthodox Church of Estonia, in fellowship with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate. CEC has previously observed that the two Patriarchates of Constantinople and Moscow need to come to an agreement about the status of the two Estonian churches before this issue can be resolved.Metropolitan Emmanuel said at Friday’s press conference that last month he and CEC General Secretary Rev. Dr Guy Liagre met with Metropolitan Hilarion, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations.He said he and Metropolitan Hilarion were old friends, and that the meeting in Moscow was productive. The CEC President was also asked about the relationship between CEC and the Roman Catholic Church.At the last CEC Assembly in Lyon in 2009 His All Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople called for a fresh impetus to encourage ‘a conference for all the European Churches’.Metropolitan Emmanuel joked that, as he hadn’t yet been asked to be the Vatican’s press spokesperson, he would decline to comment on any position that the Roman Catholic Church might take.He insisted, however, that there were good relationships between CEC and CCEE (the Council of [Roman] Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in Europe) with high level meetings taking place every year.“It is high time we are not to be seen to be competing with Roman Catholic brothers, but we would be seen to be in one corporation, one body…we cannot breathe this ecumenical air with just one lung functioning.”Bishop Julio expressed his hope for improved relationships between all the Churches but especially with the Roman Catholic Church under the new leadership of Pope Francis, noting: “There are many expectations, not only in Latin America but around the world, about what a Latin American pope can do.”

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