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05/09/2007 17:41

Press release No. 10 (EN) 5 September 2007


?We are approaching the crisis of ecumenism?, said Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of Moscow Patriarchate at the press conference on September 5 during the 3rd European Ecumenical Assembly (EEA3) in Sibiu.


 ?We try to overcome the crisis, but we are standing in front of a new division between Christians because of different understanding of moral norms?, added the Orthodox Metropolitan. He recalled that the ecumenical movement is almost 100 years old, starting from the Edinburgh conference in 1910, and said that ?now it is a time for self-examination, a time to be very critical?.  Mentioning the great inspiration and success of the previous decades of ecumenical dialogue, Kirill stressed that now ?there is a lot of frustration?.


He called for discussion during the EEA3 and beyond on the common Christian message to the modern world, in order to be able to send a clear ?signal? that will be heard through the ?noise? of postmodernism and relativism. ?We increasingly avoid mentioning the word ?sin??, the Metropolitan said.


In his welcoming speech to the participants and guests of EEA3, the Moscow Patriarchate representative warned that different views on human beings and the moral norms lead to the breakdown of Christian unity: ?It can be stated with certainty that until recently all the Christians had unanimous views at least on man and the moral norms of his life, but today this unity has been broken as well, because some Christian communities have unilaterally reviewed or are reviewing the norms of life defined by the Word of God?.


Metropolitan Kirill also made a call to European Christian organizations to support the enforcement of the dialogue between faith and science. ?Many scholars nowadays support the idea that scientific and religious knowledge are complementary?, he said. This idea eliminates tensions between science and religion. Christianity is interested today as never before in supporting scientific knowledge and its implementations?.

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