Ecumenism and Evangelizing Activity

in Russia and the Countries of the C.I.S.

by Marcel Guarnizo

Why Ecumenism?

The Second Vatican Council defined Ecumenism as the search of all Christians for unity.

"The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council."1 With this solemn statement the milestone document Unitatis Redintegratio (Decree on Ecumenism), states the definite commitment and renewal of the Church's response to its Divine calling to foster and minister unity to humanity and particularly to foster and seek actively ways of achieving full communion among Christians. This sacred duty is one that concerns, "...the whole Church, faithful and clergy alike. It extends to every one, according to the talent of each..."2

The trauma of Christian division is one that has struck the Church at the core of its mission on earth. For the Church has received the Divine calling to foster and maintain the bonds of communion among all of God's children. "This unity, which the Lord has bestowed on His Church and in which He wishes to embrace all people, is not something added on, but stands at the very heart of Christ's mission. Nor is it some secondary attribute of the community of His disciples. Rather, it belongs to the very essence of this community. God wills the Church, because He wills unity, and unity is an expression of the whole depth of His agape (love)."3

Therefore the ecumenical movement is not some modern post-conciliar innovation in the Church, or some surprising pastoral tactic which the Church has adopted in these times of confusion. Ecumenism is not diplomacy, it is not politics, and it is not compromise. Ecumenism is the profound ecclesial response of the Church to her Divine mission.

The foundation and justification for Ecumenism is rooted in profound ecclesiological and theological criteria. And the imperative to labor, pray and sacrifice for unity is one to which the entire Church is bound by the Divine Lord Who never ceases to challenge His own. Therefore the renewed efforts to seek full communion among all Christians come not as something foreign or new to the Church but rather as the perennial response of the Church to minister unity and reconciliation to all mankind.

Our Division Is Truly An Obstacle To So Many That Today Are Seeking the Master.

Furthermore the Council made explicit the great urgency of striving to fulfill the Divine command, "...that they may all be one... so that the world may believe that you have sent me... " (Jn 17:21), for the division that remains present in the visible historical reality of the one and only Church that Jesus Christ founded is no small obstacle to the millions that today ask as the disciples did two-thousand years ago "...Rabbi where are you staying?"(Jn 1:38). The lack of Christian unity presents to the believer and unbeliever the dramatic obstacle of a divided Christendom whereby the many followers of Christ hold and profess in many instances completely different and irreconcilable doctrines. The trauma is such that many find no definite reliable answer to their quest for the Master, and thereby seek their God outside of Christianity or simply defeated renounce the search altogether.

Our Division Wounds the Historical Visible Reality Of The Church

Although the Church has never and will never lose her essential unity for it is guaranteed by God Himself, her historical and visible unity is greatly obstructed by the divisions among Christians. The Catholic Church while acknowledging the historical and visible divisions among Christians professes that the one Church of Christ continues to subsist visibly and historically in the Catholic Church.

That is to say that the constitutive unity of the one Church founded by Christ has never and will never be lost, for it has God Himself as its guarantor. What is really impeded is the full and visible manifestation of this unity in history. And this of course not only is an offense to Christ who died for His Church, " sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish"(Eph.5:25-27) but a scandal to the world for how can the Church preach the Gospel of reconciliation when millions of Christ's followers remain unreconciled?

Unity Is Sought Ultimately For The Greater Glory Of God

Finally, ecumenism would not be really a Divine vocation if it merely and principally had for its aim and subject solely, mankind. The primary, fundamental and necessary reason for ecumenism is really the glorification of Our Heavenly Father. "Unity is above all for the Glory of the Father."4 The living of all men in Christ, according to the will of the Son is truly a most precious oblation and sacrifice to the honor and Glory of God. The recapitulation of all things in Christ for the Glorification of the Father, is the fundamental reason for any and all efforts to help restore unity in the Church.

It Is The Ministry Of Peter to Foster Unity Among God's Children.

The Catholic Church believes and professes that the successor of Peter has been established as "perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity"5 in the Church. And certainly it is to Peter's successors that the ministry of unity in the Church is primarily entrusted. " This service of unity, rooted in the action of divine mercy, is entrusted within the College of Bishops to one among those who have received from the Spirit the task, not of exercising power over the people-as the rulers of the Gentiles and their great men do (cf Mt 20:25; Mk 10:42)-but of leading them to peaceful pastures".6

It is the mission of Peter to keep watch over the entire Church and to serve in His office as the center of unity for all the particular churches. "I am convinced that I have a particular responsibility in this regard...and in heeding the request made of me to find a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation".7

Before we enter our discussion of the Ecumenical situation in Russia and the countries of the C.I.S. we must make two more distinctions which will enable us to situate the rest of this article:

1. Ecumenism is Exercised Among Christians: " taking part in this movement, which is called ecumenical, are those who invoke the Triune God and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior."8 This is very important for it clearly delineates Christians as the subject of ecumenical dialogue. The Ecumenical dialogue is not just any type of dialogue, ecumenical dialogue is the dialogue among Christians, and the efforts to make their partial communion a full one. A communion that is not simply the "...gathering of people as a collection of individuals. It is a unity constituted by the bonds of the profession of faith, the sacraments and hierarchical communion."9

2. Ecumenism is Always Exercised as Members of a Church or Ecclesial Body: "...the corporate groups in which they have heard the Gospel, and which each regards as His Church and indeed, God's".10 That is to say that there is no such thing as putting into practice one's own individual ideas of what ecumenism is or should be. Ecumenism for Catholics is from the perspective of the faithful, priests and bishops the efforts to put into practice the directives and policy of the Universal Church regarding the unity of Christians. Ecumenism is not an individual isolated effort. It is rather, the effort of different communities and churches to reach and accomplish through dialogue and prayer the full communion of all Christians.

The Ecclesial Nature of the Orthodox Church

We intend here to bring forth the ecclesial reality of the Orthodox Church as recognized and declared by the Catholic Church. This is crucial for too many Catholics still ignore the value and sacramental reality of the Orthodox Church. We must not take for granted that most Catholics of the Latin Rite have an adequate conception of the ecclesial nature of the Orthodox Church, for most Latin Rite Catholics rarely if ever come into contact with the Orthodox faithful.

Therefore, a few basic stepping stones may be needed before we are able to open our minds and hearts to a full appreciation and understanding of our present relationship and policy with regards to the our evangelizing and ecumenical activity in Russia and the countries of the C.I.S.

Given all this we must now begin to explore what the Catholic Church affirms about the ecclesial reality of the Orthodox Church and our relationship to it.

The Council clearly affirms of the Orthodox but not only of them: "In this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church-for which often enough both sides were to blame. However, one cannot charge with the sin of separation those who at present are born into these communities..."11

Furthermore states the Holy Father John Paul II in his latest and only encyclical letter in the history of the Church dedicated to the question of Ecumenism, " All those justified by faith through Baptism are incorporated into Christ. They therefore have a right to be honored by the title of Christian, and are properly regarded as brothers and sisters in the Lord by the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church." 12

The Orthodox Church possesses Apostolic Succession and valid sacraments. This is crucial for the profound ecclesial reality of the Orthodox Church is predicated in the fact that they have indeed preserved Apostolic Succession and therefore have valid Bishops, and priests. Given that this is the case, they also possess true sacraments.

Their tradition being admirably rooted in the Fathers of the Church is certainly a fountain of great spiritual riches and instruction for the faithful. Of the Orthodox Church the Council explicitly stated, "These churches although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all, by apostolic succession, the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy. Therefore some worship in common given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged." 13 Indeed "... through the celebration of the Eucharist of the Lord in each of these churches, the Church of God is built up and grows in stature"14

The Ecumenical Dialogue with the Orthodox Church is therefore of a very different nature than the one held with the Protestant communities. This again is crucial for without these careful distinctions a proper doctrinal understanding of Ecumenism is at risk. There is a substantial difference between the ecclesial and sacramental reality of the Protestant communities and the Orthodox Church and it is these differences that do not permit the application of the same principles and norms to both Protestants and Orthodox.

Therefore the distinction must always be made between the Ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox Church and the ecumenical dialogue with the Protestant communities. Of the separated communities in the West, the Council affirmed that these ecclesial communities, "... have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Orders."15 The Catholic Church is, "... indeed aware that there exist considerable differences from the doctrine of the Catholic Church even concerning Christ the Word of God made flesh and the work of Redemption, and thus concerning the mystery and ministry of the Church and the role of Mary in the work of salvation."16

The Council also affirms that they, "... think differently from us...about the relationship between the scriptures and the Church."17 While praising their love for scripture and their faith in Christ as Lord and Savior the Council clearly acknowledges the great differences that separate us from these ecclesial communities.

It is the deeper understanding of the ecclesial nature and liturgical tradition and spirituality that has enabled the Catholic Church to recognize the Orthodox Church as a particular Church with which we share a common heritage, "...this entire heritage of spirituality and liturgy, of discipline and theology, in the various traditions, belongs to the full Catholic and apostolic character of the Church" (UR 17).18

Ecclesiology of Sister Churches

This rediscovery in the Catholic Church of the theological and ecclesiological nature of the Orthodox Church has enabled the Catholic Church to recognize the Orthodox Church once again as a Sister Church. "The traditional designation of "sister churches" should ever accompany us along this path, towards full communion."19

The word "church" in regards to the Orthodox is not being used loosely at all, for the Orthodox churches are considered to possess an ecclesial nature by which they, "... merit the title of particular churches." Indeed, "through the celebration of the Eucharist of the Lord in each of these churches, the Church of God is built up and grows in stature, for in every valid celebration of the Eucharist the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church becomes truly present." 20

"For centuries we lived the life of "Sister Churches"...and now, after a long period of division and mutual misunderstanding, the Lord is enabling us to discover ourselves as "Sister churches" once more, in spite of the obstacles which were once raised between us." 21 The ecumenical directives of the Catholic Church in Russia and the nations of the C.I.S. are the natural consequence of this ecclesial reality of the Orthodox Church.

It is the recognition of the profound ecclesial nature of the Orthodox Church and the intimate bonds that unite us, which have permitted the Catholic Church to develop an ecumenical and evangelizing policy which provides the very real possibility for Orthodox and Catholics to stand together in order to give a common witness of the faith in Russia and elsewhere. " ... I was able to declare in union with my Venerable Brother, His Holiness Dimitros I, the Ecumenical patriarch... "that the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church can already profess together that common faith in the mystery of the Church and the bond between faith and sacraments."22

Ecumenical Policy and Evangelizing Activity of the Catholic Church in Russia and the Countries of the C.I.S.

After decades of relentless persecution and violence on April 14, 1991 His Holiness John Paul II was finally able to reorganize and nominate Apostolic Administrators for the Catholics of the Latin Rite in Russia and some of the territories of the C.I.S. Apostolic Administrators were nominated for the territories of Russia, Ukraine, Kazahkstan, and Belorus.

The Holy Father was also able with the nominal collapse of communism to name bishops once again for the suffering Byzantine churches of Western Ukraine and Rumania. Throughout the Communist regime the Catholic Byzantine Church was brutally persecuted after being declared null and non-existent. Many of these Catholic Byzantine congregations were forced by Stalin to declare themselves Orthodox in the 1940's in order to survive. Many of the previously Byzantine Catholic Churches were handed over to the Orthodox Church. With the attainment of greater religious freedom many Byzantine Catholics came forth and declared themselves to be Catholic rather than Orthodox and tried to re-claim the property that was unjustly and violently taken from them by the communist regime.

This situation naturally created great tension and even violence among Catholics and Orthodox. The dramatic situation is the context in which the Holy Father's letter, entitled, "Letter of John Paul II to Bishops of Europe on Relations Between Catholics and Orthodox in the New Situation of Central and Eastern Europe," develops. And the lamentable fact that Catholics and Orthodox still remain unreconciled is probably greater reason why Catholics should become aware of the present ecumenical and evangelizing policy of the Holy See regarding the Orthodox Church in Russia and the countries of the C.I.S. The theological dialogue that was being undertaken very successfully between Orthodox and Catholics was also severely hurt.

Clearly more than ever a sound ecumenical formation is most necessary in order to undertake and be fruitful in our efforts of bringing the word of God to all Nations. Sound Ecumenical formation must be given to all those who wish to undertake apostolic work in these territories so that they will develop an ecumenical mentality according to the principles of the Second Vatican Council and the directives of the Holy See.

Another very important factor for religious and lay groups seeking to work in Russia, is that all their activities must be carefully enacted in coordination and obedience to the directives of the Local Ordinaries in Russia. Given the vast territory that we are speaking of and the very delicate situation that currently exists between Catholics and Orthodox, independent efforts that fall outside of the directives of our Pastors in Russia could be disastrous to the furthering of the Gospel in Russia.

The Holy Father brings forth the fact that it is to the shepherds of the local churches that the great responsibility of guiding their faithful on the difficult path to full communion has been entrusted.

Two major policy statements have been issued by the Holy See, regarding the ecumenical and evangelizing effort in Russia and the countries of the C.I.S. And it will be the faithful application of these principles and pastoral practice that will enable Catholics and Orthodox to give a common witness to the faith in these territories. The two documents are:

1. Letter Of Pope John Paul II To Bishops Of Europe On Relations Between Catholics And Orthodox In The New Situation Of Central And Eastern Europe (May 31, 1991);

2. General Principles And Practical Norms For Coordinating The Evangelizing Activity And Ecumenical Commitment Of The Catholic Church In Russia And In The Other Countries Of The C.I.S. (June 1, 1992).

Lastly there is a very important document produced by the Joint International Commission For The Theological Dialogue Between The Roman Catholic Church And The Orthodox Church, (Lebanon: June 17-24, 1993) called "Uniatism, Method of Union of the Past, and the Present Search for Full Communion."

I merely highlight some of the very important conclusions drawn out from these documents. It is evident that the Catholic Church has the Divine imperative to carry out its work even in Russia. But this work must be done in careful harmony with the apostolic efforts of the Orthodox Church in Russia.

It is not in competition but in a shared esteem for the unity willed by Christ that the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are called upon to carry out their mission, and to do so in such a way that their witness, both in each one's own activities and in joint undertakings, will respond fully to the will of Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, respecting the conscience of every individual as well as the free distribution of the charisms of the Holy Spirit (PN Introduction).23

The work of the Catholic Church in Russia while remaining faithful to its own mission must be aware that the apostolic undertakings and the methodology used must be one that fosters communion and fraternal relationships between Catholics and Orthodox. While being missionary by nature the Catholic Church realizes that "... the commitment to promote Christian unity is part of that mission of proclaiming to the world the Good News of salvation in Christ..." 24

This search for unity has been enunciated by the Holy See as a "... pastoral priority in the territories of the C.I.S." 25

To speak of a "mission" to Russia as if it were missionary territory creates much confusion about the intentions of the Catholic Church in Russia. For if by mission we mean, mission to people who have not received the Gospel and are in need of the initial implantation of the Church in their territory, then this is clearly not the case in Russia. The activities and efforts of the Catholic Church in Russia and the territories of C.I.S. is one that differs, "... substantially from those of the mission ad gentes."26 Christianity has existed in Russia since 988 and Russia is in its roots a Christian nation.

We can still use the word mission in the sense that laborers are always being sent by the Father to help His Church. There is clearly a mandate to aid the reconstruction of Russia by serving the needs of the Catholic faithful and helping if possible the Orthodox Church reach its faithful.

Pastoral Consequences

From the ecclesiological reality of the Orthodox Church and the recognition of that sacramental unity and unity of faith with our Sister Church in the East some very serious and delicate implications must be drawn out for the work that is to be carried out in Russia and countries of the C.I.S.

The Holy Father goes on to begin delineating the present situation, "In our own time the theological dialogue taking place between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches as a body is directed towards that goal with a different form and outlook, in accordance with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council."27

It is important to state the purpose of the reorganization of the hierarchy in Russia and other countries of the C.I.S. For, " The apostolic structures which the Bishops and Apostolic administrators organize in the territories entrusted to them are meant to respond to the needs of the Catholic communities present in those territories. They are in no way intended to bring the Catholic Church into competition with the Russian Orthodox Church..."28

"Bishops and Apostolic Administrators... have the right and the duty to provide for the spiritual needs of the Catholics entrusted to their pastoral care."29

In a most imperative manner the Holy Father rejects all forms of inappropriate proselytism among the Orthodox Church, while continuing to propose dialogue and work towards full communion as the only possible way of achieving full communion.

The hierarchy recently reestablished in Russia and some of the countries of the C.I.S. were not constituted as a parallel effort of the Catholic Church in order to compete with the Russian patriarch and the Orthodox hierarchy that already exist in these territories. The Latin hierarchies in Russia have not been created as "parallel structures of evangelization," that is to say that it is not an effort on the part of the Catholic Church, which failing to recognize the Bishop in Moscow of the Orthodox Church simply seeks to place its own Bishop and then put him to work literally in competition with the Russian Patriarch, for the greater number of souls.

The hierarchy is in no way created in opposition or confrontation to the already existing Orthodox hierarchy in Russia. Far from being parallel structures of evangelization the Catholic Church seeks rather to cooperate and be of assistance to the Orthodox bishops in Russia in their daunting task of reevangelizing Russia. "Should circumstances permit, the Pastors for the Catholic Church, out of missionary zeal and concern for evangelization of millions of people who do not yet know Christ, should endeavor to cooperate with the Orthodox Bishops in developing pastoral initiatives of the Orthodox Church."30

Undoubtedly the methodology above delineated may seem somewhat surprising, Bishop Pierre Duprey Secretary of the pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity described the Second Vatican Council as the moment, "... when the Church took what I might dare call a complete U-turn in its attitudes to the Orthodox Church, and towards its ecumenical commitment. Moreover, let us not forget that, for at least the past 50 years, neither the Catholic nor the Orthodox Church has been able to offer an appropriate catechesis which would have let these churches redirect their faithful in this new direction."31

It would almost seem a contradiction, for on the one hand the Catholic Church is called by Christ, "... to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Mtt 28:19), but as we have seen the reorganization of the hierarchy in Russia and the C.I.S. has been realized in order to respond to the needs of the Catholic faithful present in those territories. It is clear that evangelization among the Orthodox faithful in order to have them become Catholics is not the goal of our ecumenical efforts in Russia. How are these two compatible?

The thing to keep before one's mind in order to understand the pastoral work of the Catholic Church in Russia is the absolute trust that as Christians we possess that full communion between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church will come about in the future. Our Lord prayed for this union "...that they may be one..." (John 17.21) and His prayer is all efficacious.

Now if the millions of people baptized in the Orthodox Church in Russia would be given the elements to live their faith to the fullest in the Orthodox Church, when the time for the full communion of the Orthodox and Catholic Church would be realized all those millions of Christians would immediately also be in full communion with the entire Catholic Church.

In other words there are two possibilities in order to realize the evangelization of Russia. The first, would be to seek to bring out of the Orthodox Church every orthodox, until all were eventually converted into Catholics. This would never bring about the full communion of Catholics and Orthodox but rather would exacerbate to the extreme the division which already pains our Church. Of this methodology nothing but greater division, hatred and resentment would come.

The second avenue towards full communion lies in the recognition of the Orthodox Church as our Sister Church. The recognition that nearly all Christians in Russia belong to the Byzantine Tradition as lived in the Orthodox Church, and that it is therefore the obligation and duty of the Orthodox Church to seek out these faithful, educate them and help them practice their faith, so that one day when we achieve by God's grace full communion they will indeed already be proficient in the Christian life, that they have been called to live in Christ.

Once full communion comes about there is no need to "convert" the Byzantine Orthodox into anything, they can continue to live their faith in fidelity to that which they had received centuries ago. The mission in Russia does not entail the conversion of the Orthodox to the Catholic Church; it rather entails the recomposition of the unity the Church enjoyed for over a thousand years before the division of 1054.

States the Holy See, "In fact the way to achieve Christian unity is certainly not proselytism but rather fraternal dialogue between the followers of Christ-a dialogue fostered by prayer and developed in charity, with the aim at reestablishing that full communion between the Byzantine Church and the Church of Rome which existed in the first millennium."32

The Orthodox Church must indeed respond heroically to the newly achieved religious liberty in Russia. And we must seek as Catholics to cooperate and assist if possible the needs and initiatives of the Orthodox Church. "Having herself emerged from a long period of persecution, difficulties and conditionings of every kind, the Orthodox Church is now faced with the challenge of a new evangelization of traditionally Orthodox peoples who have been brought up in atheism" (PN 7). "Therefore, in fraternal dialogue with the local Bishops of the Orthodox Church and with full respect for the citizens' religious confession, the pastors of the Latin Church should try to promote cooperation with the Orthodox Church in all areas where this is possible, so that everyone may become clearly aware of the unity in charity which must reign between the two Churches, as a prelude to full ecclesial communion." 33


It is vital that Catholics and Orthodox Christians assimilate and put into practice these directives for they truly pave the path for full communion of Catholics and Orthodox Churches. Only through prayer, sacrifice, and the dialogue of truth and charity will these century long differences be overcome. "And once the wall dividing the Western from the Eastern Church is removed there will finally be a single dwelling-place, solidly established upon the cornerstone, Christ Jesus, who will make them both one " (PN). "Brothers who once shared the same sufferings and trials ought not to oppose one another today, but should look together at the future opening before them with promising signs of hope."34

May we all commit ourselves to assiduous prayer and study that the unrest and division among all Christians may be healed, may we also urgently beg the intercession of Our Blessed Mother that she who is Mother of the Church may safely and promptly guide us to total reconciliation.

Marcel Guarnizo is a seminarian studying in Rome for the priestly ministry in Russia.

1 Decree on Ecumenism, n.1.

2 Cf.Encyclical Letter On Commitment to Ecumenism (May 25,1995), n.9.

3 Cf.Encyclical Letter On Commitment to Ecumenism (May 25,1995), n.9.

4 Ibid., n. 98.

5 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 23.

6 Encyclical Letter on Commitment to Ecumenism, n.94.

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid., 9

10 Second Vatican Council, Decree on Ecumenism, 1.

11 Ibid., 3.

12 Cf.. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter On Commitment to Ecumenism (May 25, 1995), 13.

13 Ibid., 15.

14 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Some Aspects of the Church Understood as Communion, (May 28, 1992), 17.

15 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter On Commitment to Ecumenism, May 25, 1995, 22.

16 Decree Annotates Redintegration, 20.

17 Decree Annotates Redintegration, 21.

18 Ibid., 17.

19 John Paul II, Encyclical Ut Unum Sint, May 25, 1995, 56.

20 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Some Aspects of the Church Understood as Communion, May 28, 1992, 17.

21 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter, Ut Unum Sint, May 25 1995, 59.

22 Ibid., 59.

23 The Pontifical Commission "Pro Russia", "General Principles and Practical Norms for Coordinating the Evangelizing Activity and Ecumenical Commitment of the Catholic Church in Russia and in the territories of the C.I.S." (June 1, 1992), Introduction.

24 Ibid., 6.

25 Ibid.

26 Ibid., 7.

27 Ibid., 7.

28 Ibid., 3.

29 Ibid., 2.

30 The Pontifical Commission "Pro Russia", "General Principles and Norms." (June 1, 1992), Practical Norms 4.

31 Bishop Pierre Duprey, Fifth European Ecumenical Meeting, Santiago de Compostela (Spain), (November 15, 1991).

32 The Pontifical Commission "Pro Russia," " general Principles and Practical Norms." (June 1, 1995), n.6.

33 Ibid., 7.

34 John Paul II, Letter to the Bishops of Europe on their Relations between Catholics and Orthodox in the New situation of Central and Eastern Europe (May 31, 1991), 2.

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