No to ecumenical prayer

A priest from the Moscow Patriachate has spoken out against Orthodox believers praying with other Christians saying it is best for Orthodox to avoid praying in public or private with faithful of other denominations.

Furthermore, the priest added "nowadays no one speaks seriously about reunification being near. Almost all of Russia is against such (ecumenical) prayers."

AsiaNews reports Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate deputy Rev Vsevolod Chaplin (pictured) stressed his comments were "his own opinion" and that he personally never prayed with representatives of other denominations.

Russian Orthodox delegates to the World Council of Churches (WCC) also have never prayed with others.

Fr Chaplin, however, said visiting Catholic and Protestant churches taking part in religious functions or praying before relics considered holy by all Christians are acceptable

Asked about the WCC, Fr Chaplin said "the WCC's aim at reunification is increasingly distant" but that the organisation's social role in domains like ecology, globalisation, international conflict and the place of religion in contemporary society remains valid."

Moscow Patriarchate says no to ecumenical prayers (AsiaNews 05/03/08)

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