New page in relations with Vatican yet to be opened - Russian Church

There has not been any substantial moment in the Orthodox-Catholic dialog, said Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk.

"It appears to me that the relations between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches still lack the specifics which could be interpreted as the opening of a new page. We are still expecting the Catholic Church to give some articulate and adequate response the concerns we have voiced on many occasions," Archbishop Hilarion told a press conference at the Interfax head office on Tuesday.

At the same time hierarch said he was confident about bringing the Orthodox-Catholic relations "to a new level of cooperation and mutual trust" as a result of understanding, both at the formal and basic levels.

"In the modern world, where Christianity is faced with very serious threats such as belligerent secularism, we are not rivals but allies," he said.

"Today's confrontation, though somewhat weakened over the past few years, is of no benefit to anyone," he said.

Commenting on a recent statement by Apostolic Nuncio to Russia Antonio Mennini about the likelihood of raising the status of the bilateral relations between Vatican and Russia to the level of an embassy, the archbishop said that the matter lies within the remit of the inter-governmental, and not inter-church, policy.