Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria, who is head of the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the European Institutions, has offered some very encouraging words on the prospect for improving relations between the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches — a relationship that must be revisited with a sense of urgency. In a commentary titled Habemus Papam!, Hilarion looked forward to a “breakthrough” in relations between Rome and Moscow, and called for a meeting between Benedict XVI and Alexy II, patriarch of the Russian Church. Noting the considerable issues that divide the churches, Hilarion described these as far less important than a combined witness to a rapidly secularizing Europe. “I strongly believe that the time has come for Catholics and Orthodox to unite their efforts and to defend traditional Christianity, which is being attacked from all sides,” he said. “In twenty, thirty or forty years it may simply be too late.”

  • Dan McCuen

    It’s about time. There must arise an ecumenism of the trenches. All the great denominations of Christianity, allies de facto, if not de jure, must ally themselves more closely together so as to best hold their positions, along a fiercely embattled perimeter.

    This is good news indeed.

  • Silvia Leontiuc

    I also, believe that christians should be more united. But shouldn`t it come from the ordinary christians first? Since the liders of the church talk more and more about ecumenism, I wonder if there isn`t the danger of accepting, along with tolerance, things that are not according with the Bible.
    I hope that we haven`t forgot that before all, it`s doing God`s will.