“It’s heresy…”. From the Vatican torpedo to Patriarch Kirill

it’s a’heresy That the patriarch dares to legitimize the brutal and absurd war in Ukraine on pseudo-religious reasonsCardinal Kurt Koch He did not utter the words to condemn the line taken by the Russian Orthodox Church early the next day, February 24. He did so in an interview with the German Catholic newspaper Tagespost . die.

These words are especially relevant, not only because they raise the accusation of heresy, which for centuries has been blamed from West to East and vice versa for theological motives, but for the source from which they came. Cottage is not just any cardinal, but Dicastery Governor to Promote Christian Unitythe new name of the Pontifical Council that deals with ecumenism and is concerned with relations with churches and other ecclesial groups.

However, his profile is nothing but a barrier, because it is a profile Good theologian Swiss with a mild character and gentle undertones, for this reason he is often considered a kind of “little Joseph Ratzinger”. We must not forget that he was next to Cardinal Koch Pope Francesco In the historic video call with Russian Patriarch Kirill on the afternoon of March 16 the war in Ukraine was an inevitable topic of discussion. During that interview, Bergoglio berated the Russian spiritual leader for his support of Putin’s military operation, reminding him that “The church should not use the language of politics, but the language of Jesus“.

The Pope recounted the details of that video call in the interview, which took place at the beginning of May, to the director was runningLuciano Fontana, explaining it Kirill start the conversation”With a card in handwhich he readAll justifications for war‘The answer to that’The patriarch cannot turn himself into Putin’s altar boy“.

Honesty is a symptom The war in Ukraine It brought relations between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church to a standstill after decades of clandestine work that allowed the historic meeting to take place in Cuba in 2016. The two leaders were scheduled to meet again in person in Jerusalem on June 14, but the conflict upended the agenda set by diplomacy. concerned.

Koch’s last words seem to confirm a distance that is hard to bridge in a short lap also because Cyril cannot bear very soft reactions to Rome, as to the internal pressures of the Holy Synod of Russian Orthodox Church Not always in favor of dialogue with Catholics.

It is not surprising that the Synod – at the beginning of June – attributed the decision to the Patriarch – suddenly torpedoed the very powerful Metropolitan Hilarion from Volokolamsk From the role of “foreign minister”, sent to Budapest. As the ecumenical frost decreased after February 24th and confirmed by the interview with Koch a Tagespost . dieHis line considered that excessive dialogue with the Catholic Church could have cost him not only the position of head of the department of external ecclesiastical affairs but also the succession of Kirill which had almost a while ago been taken for granted.

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