In an interview on the upcoming Pan-Orthodox Council, set for 2016, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, spoke (amongst other things) candidly about relations with the Catholic Church. Though we disagree with him on his view of the Papacy; his openness, his honesty, his aversion to evasive niceties is refreshing. And his bluntness also extends to the serious moral deviations taken by a number of large protestant sects with regards to sexual morality. Indeed, just the other day, an Anglican clergyman has announced that he intends to "marry" his "partner".
Question: The previous Council took place before the split into the Orthodox and the Catholic Churches. Will the unification of the Orthodox and the Catholics and the role of the Pope of Rome in the Christian world be discussed by the Council?
- Attempts to unite the Churches after the schism were made at the 1274 Council of Lyons and the 1438-1445 Council of Ferrara-Florence. But they failed and only aggravated the schism. There is no item on Orthodox-Catholic unification on the Pan-Orthodox Council’s agenda, especially as a considerable part of the Western Christian world broke away from Catholicism with time to form various groups of Protestantism. The problem of Christian unity arises only indirectly in dealing with the dialogue between the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox. Besides, it should be noted that such developments as the blessing of same-sex cohabitations observed now in some Protestant communities not only make it impossible for the Orthodox to maintain dialogue with these communities but also make us doubt their belonging to Christianity.