More on the Joint Declaration from Patriarch Sviatoslav

We recently quoted a statement by Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk, leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, on the Joint Declaration of the Holy Father and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. It seems that the full interview—or at least more of the interview—has been translated into English and made available. Of particular note, Patriarch Sviatoslav notes that:

It was officially reported that this document was the joint effort of Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) from the Orthodox side and Cardinal Koch with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity from the Catholic side. For a document that was intended to be not theological, but essentially socio-political, it is hard to imagine a weaker team than the one that drafted this text. The mentioned Pontifical Council is competent in theological matters in relations with various Christian Churches and communities, but is no expert in matters of international politics, especially in delicate matters such as Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Thus, the intended character of the document was beyond their capabilities. This was exploited by the Department of External Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is, first of all, the instrument of diplomacy and external politics of the Moscow Patriarchate. I would note that, as the Head of our Church, I am an official member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, nominated already by Pope Benedict. However, no one invited me to express my thoughts and so, essentially, as had already happened previously, they spoke about us without us, without giving us a voice.

(Emphasis supplied.) This is all hugely interesting and very important business, and, for our part, that Patriarch Sviatoslav is so clear and precise the situation.