.- The Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches much in common and should cooperate more in teaching about the importance of the family and moral values, said Patriarch Filaret, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's Kiev Patriarchate. "We don't need to be afraid of Rome, or the Greek Catholics," he told the Associated Press in an interview Wednesday.
"Today the task and mission of Christian churches – Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant – is to support moral values and support spirituality and morality in European civilization," he reportedly said.
The patriarch had welcomed John Paul II in 2001, despite protest from the Russian Orthodox Church.
The patriarch does not believe unification of the two churches is realistic today, but it is “desirable” and greater cooperation is possible.
The Kiev patriarchate is independence from the Orthodox Church of Moscow. It has more than 2,700 congregations throughout Ukraine.