Bartholomew: “We believe in dialogue in order to solve problems”
Kirill: “All of us represent the unity of our mission. We believe that, today too, God will be with us”
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople (Istanbul) to meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
The main topic of the meeting is the request of the Ukrainian church to become autocephalous and independent of the Patriarchate of Moscow (the higher governing body). The Ecumenical Patriarchate regards the issue positively, a stance which does not satisfy Moscow.
The Ecumenical Patriarch warmly welcomed the Patriarch of Moscow. He said he was pleased to see him there: “Every time we meet, we enjoy each other as we find the opportunity to discuss issues of common interest. We believe in dialogue. When the political leaders are trying to solve the problems of their countries through dialogue, we religious leaders must use the God-sent instrument of dialogue to solve the existing problems.”
Patriarch Kirill said that “our churches have often faced problems that arise and are due to issues of the outside the world. Every time, with the help of God, we find answers and we know how to deal with the problems that arise. What you have said about using dialogue as a medium to problem-solving was right. And yet, I think there are differences in the dialogue that politicians conduct with the one of ours. Every politician defends the interests of his country. The dialogue we conduct within the church is of a different nature. Yes, we represent our churches, but we all represent the unity of our churches and our mission in this world. The dialogue takes place within the body of the Holy and Apostolic Church, this is why we are burdened with more responsibility. We have never done anything within Ecumenical Orthodoxy. Because we have a responsibility for the whole body of the Church… we believe that God will be with us today.”…. / IBNA