Thrissur: Mar Aprem, Metropolitan of the Assyrian Church of the East, has said that there is no need to rake up a controversy over the recent statement of Pope Benedict XVI that the faith of Christian denominations outside the Catholic fold is ‘defective.’

The Metropolitan, however, admitted that the Pope’s statement ‘under the prevailing circumstances’ was unwarranted, which had led to some misunderstanding in other Churches. It could not be glossed over that the Pope expressed his views in an Apostolic Letter to the Catholic Bishops for enrichment of spiritual activities and faith in Christ, Mar Aprem said here on Thursday.

At the same time, the fact that the Pontiff had expressed his willingness to continue dialogue with all Churches outside the Catholic fold for the unity of Christians the world over could not be ignored, he said. “The heads of every Church claim that theirs is the superior Church and the Pope also did the same,” he said.

Mar Aprem, however, said the Vatican should relax its insistence on bringing all the denominations under its control and adopt a new ecumenical policy of communion with other Churches. — PTI