Orthodox leader says Vatican is a 'key ally' in defense of morality


Moscow, Jun 25, 2008 - The Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported this week that a top official of the Russian Orthodox Church has called the Vatican its most important ally in the task of protecting the moral values of the Christian religion in the modern world.

The website of the Orthodox Episcopal Council, which is meeting this week, published the statements of Cyril, the director of External Affairs for the Moscow Patriarchate and Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad.

According to Metropolitan Cyril, the dialogue between both Churches "is promising in this sense," as it offers wide opportunities for "the joint protection of traditional Christian moral values, a correct organization of social and family relations and the defense of human rights."

He said the Russian Church and the Vatican maintain "almost identical positions in these areas," and warned that the greatest threats to Christian morality are "the offensive by belligerent secularism" and "a devastating liberalism of many Christian communities," in particular, of Protestant communities that bless same-sex unions and allow homosexuals to hold the office of bishop.

Despite this, Metropolitan Cyril said he agrees with the accusations of the Moscow Patriarch against the Catholic Church, specifically what he considers "the unjustified expansion" of the Greek Catholic Church of the Ukraine into regions traditionally dominated by the Orthodox.