Moscow, May 31, Interfax - The Vatican strongly supports the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, Pope Francis said during a meeting with a delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate led by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.
"In your presence, and especially in front of you, my dear brother, I would like to emphasize again that the Catholic Church will never use an approach provoking divisions. We will never let that happen. I don't want that. There is only one Patriarchate in Russia, yours. And we will not have another," the pope was quoted as saying on Thursday by the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The pope also said he sees the Unia as an unacceptable method of achieving church unity in relations between Orthodox and Catholic Christians and believes that brotherly dialogue is the only possible way to achieve greater unity, the Patriarchate said.
"Catholic Churches should not interfere in the internal affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church, including for political reasons. Such is my position and the position of the Holy See today. Those who do differently do not obey the Holy See," the pope said.