Russian Orthodox Church calls for pan-Christian alliance

Rodos, Greece - The Moscow Patriarchate has voiced concern about differences between various churches and has called for the creation of a strategic alliance between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches to defend traditional Christianity, primarily in Europe.

"The fact that the Russian Orthodox Church has already severed dialogue with the Episcopal Church [The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America] and the Church of Sweden [due to its approval of same-sex marriages] show that Christian society has begun to disintegrate," the Moscow Patriarchate's representative at European and international organizations, Bishop Ilarion of Vienna and Austria said at the Dialogue of Civilizations forum being held at Rodos, Greece.

It is becoming more and more difficult to speak about Christianity as a unique system of values shared by all Christians of the world or, at least, by the majority of Christians. "The existing abysm divides traditionalists and liberals rather than Orthodox and Catholics, Catholics and Protestants," he said.

In this situation it is necessary to consolidate the efforts of all Churches that consider themselves to be "Churches of Tradition," that is Catholics and Orthodox including pre-Chalcedonian [ancient Eastern] Churches, he said.

"I am not speaking about the serious dogmatic differences that exist between these Churches and which should be discussed in terms of bilateral dialogue. I am speaking about the need to conclude a certain strategic alliance, a pact, a union for between these Churches defending traditional Christianity - a defense against the challenges of modern times, be it militant liberalism or militant atheism," he said.