Friday, May 30, 2008


VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI believes relations between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church are increasingly close and has expressed his gratitude to the Russian Orthodox patriarch for pursuing dialogue.
Benedict made the remarks in a letter to Patriarch Alexy II. The Vatican released the text Friday.

The letter was delivered by Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. Kasper has been on a visit to Russia and met with Alexy on Thursday.

The pope said the visit by Kasper gave him the opportunity ¬ęto restate my appreciation for your commitment to fostering relations between Catholics and Orthodox.

Read it here...

A somewhat different take on the dialogue is provided by InterFax:

Moscow, May 30, Interfax - Head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Cardinal Walter Kasper stated that the Roman Catholic Church would keep up its theological dialogue with local Orthodox Churches only with the Moscow Patriarchate participating.

"We launched the dialogue with all Orthodox Churches and we won't continue it without the Russian Orthodox Church," he said in his interview cited by the official website of the Moscow Theological Academy.

The theological dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and local Orthodox Churches goes on international level in frames of the Mixed Orthodox-Catholic Theological Commission with the Catholic party co-chaired by Kasper. The last session of this Commission was held in October 2007 in Ravenna.

Then the Moscow Patriarchate's representatives left its plenary session as they didn't agree to the participation of the so-called Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church established in 1996 by the Constantinople Patriarchate on the canonical territory of the Russian Church. The session's participants without the Moscow Patriarchate representatives adopted a final document defining their shared attitude to the nature of authority in the Ecumenical Church.

Read it here...

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