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The Russian Orthodox Church has cancelled an official doctrinal dialogue with the Finnish Lutheran Church over the Lutheran stance on homosexuality. The Orthodox side wanted to pre-approve a communique before the meeting, but talks broke down over the Finns’ refusal to condemn homosexuality.
Finnish and Russian attitudes to gay rights are poles apart, and that’s helping to derail doctrinal dialogues between the two countries’ largest religions. Archbishop Kari Mäkinen says that he was forced to cancel planned ecumenical dialogues when he met the Russia Patriarch Kiril in Moscow.
The Russian Orthodox Church wanted to agree a statement in advance, as the meeting was scheduled to discuss anthropology—an area where sexuality was bound to come up.
”Our church’s line, which doesn’t directly condemn homosexuality, is such that from their point of view they don’t want to continue official ecumenical discussions,” said Mäkinen.
Mäkinen said that the Russian side wanted to agree a negative statement on homosexuality, but that the Lutheran church takes a different tack. In his opinion the end result of the talks should not be dictated in advance.
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