“The Moscow Patriarchate participates in the World Council of Churches for the purposes of maintaining a dialogue among Christians, but we can see that there is hardly any union reached, and this organization has lost its importance,” said the First Hierarch Hilarion in his interview published by the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on Tuesday.
According to Archbishop Hilarion, the foreign clergy and the laity have been interested in the Moscow Patriarchate’s participation in this organization since 1960s, when Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI rescinded the excommunications of the Great Schism, “which the Orthodox and Catholic Churches imposed against each other in 1054.”
“There were even certain instances of a communal prayer, which is strictly prohibited by our canons. But in 2000, the Moscow Patriarchate explicitly defined in its order, that the true Orthodox Church is the one initially created by Jesus. And Christians who diverted in their due times from the initial Church are not true Christians, and their belief is false. The Moscow Patriarchate indicates, the same as we do, that it is impossible to hold common services with those who had diverted,” says Metropolitan Hilarion.
I realize the above news clip will not please my Roman Catholic readers, thus I hope they’ll further forgive me for the following by Fr Chrysostom MacDonnell, taken from “An Orthodox view of Church History” …
A few years ago I met an Anglican clergyman who was married to a Greek Orthodox lady. They once went to Greece for a holiday and visited her home village. Naturally, she introduced her Anglican husband to the local Papas (the Greek Orthodox parish priest,) who spoke a little English. At the time there was a little old Greek lady standing beside them who asked the Greek priest who this visitor was.
“He’s an Anglican Christian,” the priest responded in Greek.
“What’s an Anglican?” the old lady inquired.
“They’re Protestants,” replied the priest. “You know, like Roman Catholics.”