Orthodox believers should keep the purity of faith and share it with those who are near and far – Metropolitan Kirill

Moscow, December 29, Interfax – Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal see Metropolitan Kirill thinks Orthodox believers shouldn’t avoid dialogue with Christians of other confessions according to the canonical tradition of Orthodox Church, its teaching and practice. Last Sunday Metropolitan Kirill conducted a festival service in the Sretensky Monastery at the relics of the Holy Martyr Hilarion (Troitsky) who guarded Orthodox tradition in early years of atheism in the USSR. “It was the time to protect the Church teaching and Archbishop Hilarion rejected the so-called “Branch theory,” which claimed that all confessions are branches of one tree and saving flows of divine mercy are reaching each of them,” the patriarchal Locum Tenens has reminded on Monday answering the journalists in Moscow. According to the Metropolitan, “our attitude to non-Orthodox confessions should remain in frames of our theological tradition and Holy Fathers.” The Locum Tenens went on to say that just in these frames the Bishops’ Council has passed by a solid vote the document on Russian Church attitude to non-Orthodox confessions, which “clearly defines such behavior.” The Metropolitan noted that Archbishop Hilarion didn’t avoid correspondence with non-Orthodox, for example with Robert Gardiner, secretary of the Commission appointed to arrange World Conference of Christianity – the future World Council of Churches, and “in decline of years, Gardner almost became Orthodox.” “Protecting and guarding the purity of Orthodox faith, we should share this Orthodox faith with those who are near and far, we should keep on doing it as St. Hilarion did,” Metropolitan Kirill is convinced.