The Russian Orthodox Church has called "honest" the position of the Vatican published in a document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stating that the Catholic Church is the only Church approved by Christ.
"It is an honest statement. It is much better than the so-called 'church diplomacy'." It shows how close or, on the contrary, how divided we are," Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, who heads the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, told journalists in Moscow.
"For an honest theological dialogue to happen, one should have a clear view of the position of the other side," because "it helps understand how different we are," he said. Basically, the Vatican's current document has nothing new and is in "full conformity with the doctrine of the Catholic Church," Metropolitan Kirill said.
"The Orthodox Church is, according to Apostolic Succession, successor and heir to the old, undivided Church. Which is why everything contained in the Catholic document rightfully applies to the Orthodox Church," the Metropolitan added.