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Paris Cardinal Praises Orthodox Church

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.catholic.net/index.php?option=zenit&id=24150 Paris Cardinal Praises Orthodox Church By Inmaculada Álvarez PARIS, NOV. 4, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5, 2008
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      http://www.catholic.net/index.php?option=zenit&id=24150

      Paris Cardinal Praises Orthodox Church

      By Inmaculada Álvarez


      PARIS, NOV. 4, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop
      of Paris says he found the Russian Orthodox
      Church to be a "living and holy Church, strong
      because of the testimony of its martyrs."

      Cardinal André Vingt-Trois affirmed this in a
      communiqué after his trip to Moscow last week.
      The cardinal was returning the visit made by
      Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II to Paris last October.

      The Paris prelate and his entourage traveled to
      Moscow "to honor the martyrs of the Orthodox
      Church during the Soviet period and the action of
      this Church in post-Communist society," a communiqué from the archdiocese said.

      As well, he prayed together with the Catholic
      community of Moscow and their archbishop, Paolo
      Pezzi, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

      Cardinal Vingt-Trois said that his encounter with
      Alexy II was "simple and fraternal" and that the
      two of them discussed, among other things, "the
      importance of the transmission of the faith to
      the youth and the possibility of an exchange of
      relics" to help the faithful learn about "the
      treasures of sanctity in the distinct traditions."

      The prelate also affirmed the "vitality of the
      Russian Orthodox Church, seen for example in the
      numerous reconstructions of churches and
      monasteries, the number of baptisms of children
      and adults, and priestly and monastic vocations."

      Before departing for Moscow, the cardinal had
      told L'Osservatore Romano that his trip, like
      that of other cardinals who have previously gone,
      helps to "increase relations with the Moscow
      patriarchate and the ecumenical relations that
      previously did not exist" in a climate "that has
      gotten much better compared to 10 or 15 years ago."

      "I think I can affirm the desire, the will of
      Alexy II to enter into a more open relationship
      with the Catholic Church," Cardinal Vingt-Trois
      added. "In the progress toward the unity of
      Christians, the question of trust is fundamental:
      If there is not mutual trust, unity cannot progress."

      Regarding his visit to Solovki, the prelate
      explained that this ancient monastery "tragically
      became the first gulag." There, Orthodox bishops,
      priests and religious were martyred, and
      Catholics, "who found themselves not only
      imprisoned as well, but within the same persecution."

      "It is very important," the cardinal said, "that
      relations with the Russian Orthodox Church
      recognize and manifest this fundamental dimension
      of martyrdom, of recognizing the 'ecumenical
      promise' of martyrdom -- [which is] the same,
      suffered by Orthodox and Catholics."
      © 2008 Zenit. All rights reserved
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