Moscow, August 6, Interfax - The upcoming meeting between Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople will improve relations and shame those who are trying to solve their own problems by splitting the Church, according to a Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) spokesman.
"There are reasons to believe that this will be a positive event for global Christian Orthodoxy and will relax relations between the Constantinople and Moscow Patriarchates, thus improving the general climate in inter-Orthodox relations," the deputy head of Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Nikolay Danilevich wrote on Facebook on Monday.
The meeting, due to be held in Istanbul on August 31, should solve, or at least outline ways to solve, many urgent issues, with the ultimate goal of strengthening Christian Orthodox unity, the archpriest wrote.
"At any rate, direct dialogue between church leaders is always better than an exchange of non-face-to-face remarks through mass media of the kind we've been observing until now," the priest wrote.
There is a shared desire among local Orthodox Churches "for unity and consolidation and the solution of the problems that have accumulated," he wrote.
"None of our local Churches intends to beget new schisms. Such are the trends and sentiments in today's inter-Orthodox relations. This is why those forces that hope to solve their problems even if it takes a schism among members of the Ecumenical Orthodoxy hope in vain," the priest wrote.
For both global Orthodoxy and for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the upcoming meeting "promises to be a positive event," he wrote.