Pontifical characters are giving interviews and responding to personal questions these days: Pope Francis, Pope Benedict, the Ukrainian Major Archbishop and now the Russian Patriarch, Kirill of Moscow.

Patriarch Kirill answers questions about the Orthodoxy in Great Britain, Christian life after the Great Schism of 1054, the sainthood of Edward the Confessor, the presences of Russians in England today, and the supposed interest of Prince Charles in Orthodoxy.

Indeed, an interesting interview. The Patriarch was far more neutral than I would’ve thought, especially around history and the question of conversion to Orthodoxy. His Holiness washes over how Catholics and Protestants come into communion with Orthodox Church.

As a point of fact, the “conversion” of Catholics to Orthodoxy is unique to each Orthodox diocese; some bishops handle the situation as the early Church handled schismatics (e.g., Donatists), and others look to the way Peter Mogila handled various denominations in 16th century Russia. As friend said, generally speaking, Oriental Orthodox come in through confession, Catholics come in through a profession of faith, Trinitarian professing Protestants come in through chrismation, and everyone else comes in through baptism and Chrismation. Plus, it is noted, some liturgical books have different formulas of things people have to renounce and accept for different types of Christians converting. So, for example, a Catholic would have to renounce the authority of the Pope, but a Methodist would not.

The interview is in Russian with English subtitles. At least one era is noted: Christians don’t worship saints, they venerate (honor) them.

Watch the 18 minute video.