Russian, Polish Churches Meet to Reconcile


The Russian Orthodox Church and the Polish Catholic Church completed a successful series of meetings in Poland to reconcile differences, sign a document of cooperation, and, yes, mutually forgive each other. It has been a while! Russia and Poland had been on tenterhooks for quite a while and their two respective churches, while both fell under the aegis Christianity, were not exactly close, let’s just say. You read differing accounts of the meetings between the heads of the churches Russian Patriarch Kirill and Polish Archbishop Michalik here, here, and here.

Call me an idealist or what you will, but I’ve always been a sucker for these types of things. I love this kind of reconciliation. I always thought one of the lowest points of history was the Great Schism of 1054, when Rome and Constantinople split apart over what amounted to then was a bunch of split hairs, weakening the empire and eventually empowering and emboldening their enemies to the south and the east. Terrible tragedy, if only they could have seen it then. Perhaps the Byzantines might have kept Constantinople… Perhaps history might have taken a very different course and the second millennium after Christ might not have been such an affront to so much of Christendom. So to see Catholic Poland and Orthodox Russia now starting to mend fences like this is heartening. It really is.

That said, this meeting was not a ploy for ecumenism, nor for a union of Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism at any cost. In fact, we Orthodox believe that our faith must be preserved as is without any alterations, abbreviations, modifications, nor any dint of post-modernist seepage, if you will. We don’t want shorter services, or guitar services, or user-friendly churches, or anything like that. We still like to have our priests way up in front, beyond the holy doors praying not in front of the congregation, but towards God, who has all the answers for us and always will. Still, a rapprochement between two great nations can only truly begin from the altar of God, and we see that this has happened between Moscow and Warsaw, and that His blessing has poured forth. Let’s see now where this all leads…

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About Pete Mladineo


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