Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev's High Praise for Pope John Paul II

Bishop Hilarion, Beatification, Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II, Holy Father


This address was given by His Grace a year ago, but I think it captures well the murky waters he must sometimes wade through in his attempts to find common cause with Rome in addressing the moral crisis of a post-Christian world. He clearly sees in the witness of the late JPII an ally in the fight for the soul of Europe, and he clearly articulates, more than any other Orthodox prelate, the indispensability of Orthodox involvement.

I have only one critical point to make. His Grace had to meet with the Holy Father back in 2002 to explain to him why a meeting with Patriarch Alexey was impossible at that time-not an easy task, I'm sure. The "Uniate" issue was broached as a reason for the strain in relations. It was agreed that the "Unia" could not be the means of attaining unity between the churches-fine and good. But what to do about the Byzantine/Slavic Catholic communities that already exist? This should not be a problem. Let them continue as they are. Three words: FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE. End of rant.

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