From: RISU Religious Information Service of Ukraine

Russian Orthodox Metropolitan hopes that Pope Francis will not support Greek Catholics

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18 March 2013

Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk of the Russian Orthodox Church expressed the hope that Pope Francis will continue the policy of rapprochement with the Orthodox Church and will not support, as he calls it, the expansion of the Ukrainian Greek Catholics, the site of Pravoslavie i Mir reports.

“The union is the most painful topic in the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, in relations between the Orthodox and the Catholics. If the pope will support the union, then, of course, it will bring no good,” he said in a program on the channel Rosiya-1.

One of Pope Francis’s teachers was a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest, and the pope belongs to the Jesuit Order.

Metropolitan Hilarion noted that the Orthodox often had a suspicious attitude toward the Jesuits.

“It is believed that a Jesuit is someone who on the outside is one person, but inside someone else, says one thing, but means something else. This idea has been confirmed in real life by Jesuits and through our experience with such representatives,” said Metropolitan Hilarion.

He also said that the head of the Catholic Church must take care of the whole church and its relations with other churches, not protect the interests of a particular order or region.

“I hope that the positive momentum that we have had in our relations with the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Benedict XVI will continue under Pope Francis,” summed up the hierarch.

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