This morning I read Robert Moynihan’s latest despatch from his visit to Russia, in which he gives an account of a meeting with Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev “the second most prominent figure in the Russian Orthodox hierarchy”. Unfortunately I can’t give a link to the article because it doesn’t yet appear to have been posted on the website.
Dr. Moynihan gives a quote from an interview which he conducted with the Archbishop four years ago:
I believe that it is in Europe that the most deadly battles between Christianity and relativism are going to take place in the nearest future. It is in Europe that the onslaught of militant secularism against religion takes the most aggressive forms. It is Europe that most obsessively denies its Christian heritage. It is in Europe that crucifixes are taken away from schools, religious symbols are banned from public places, and Christianity becomes an object of constant criticism, outrage and mockery. It is in Europe that a profound demographic crisis affected Christian population, threatening its very survival. Not that these processes do not take place in other parts of the world, but it is in Europe that they become so stunningly evident.
This quote stood out for me because it is just exactly what I believe about the situation in Europe. With the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon the situation is likely to become much graver from a Christian point of view.
One of the causes dearest to my heart is Catholic-Orthodox unity, both formal unity and unity in action. May Our Lady, Joy of All Who Sorrow, pray for us.