Russian Orthodox Church’s Kirill on Ecumenism via WikiLeaks
Some interesting comments in a cable from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow on Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill from April 2008 when he was still Metropolitan Kirill have been published by WikiLeaks, Reuter informs.
8. (C) Kirill seemed to be in good health, was preoccupied as always with the, in his view, excessive emphasis on the individual in the West, and stressed the need to harmonize traditional human rights concerns with “morality and ethics.” Economic progress had been a two-edged sword for Russia, Kirill thought. With prosperity, Russians had “lost something” and Kirill, who is Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, pointed to less prosperous Smolensk as “better preserved” than Moscow or St. Petersburg.
9. (C) Kirill spoke highly of a UN-sponsored effort to bridge the gap between East and West by seeking an alliance of civilizations. Kirill was attempting to interest the UN in his efforts to sponsor ecumenical dialogue especially, he said, in the Middle East. As he has in past conversations, Kirill contrasted Roman Catholic Pope Benedict favorably with his predecessor John Paul II, and again held out the prospect of significant improvement in Russian Orthodox–Roman Catholic relations. Also on the ecumenical front, Kirill reported to the Ambassador efforts, via the Russian Orthodox Church of America and the National Council of Churches, to reach out to Protestant denominations in the U.S.