Russian Orthodox: Female head of German church no reason to end talks

Ecumenical dialogue can continue
Although two celebrations of 50 years of dialogue between Russian Orthodox and German Protestant churches were canceled suddenly in a dispute over the election of a woman as Germany’s senior Protestant leader, a Russian church official says that academic conferences may become a way to continue ecumenical relations.

The meetings planned for November 30 in Berlin and for December 8 in Moscow were canceled after remarks by Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairperson of the Moscow Pat riarch ate’s Department of External Church Relations.

Hilarion said November 11 that Bishop Margot Kässmann’s election as chairperson of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) meant that the 50th anniversary event might mark “the end of dialogue” in its current form between the churches. He stated that this response was for reasons ranging from theology to protocol.


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