Pope welcomes new Romanian Orthodox leader, presses ecumencial agenda
Bucharest, Oct. 1, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news)
sent a message of friendship to the new Orthodox Patriarch Daniel of
Romania, who was enthroned on September 30.
The Pope's message confirmed the hopes of the Holy See that the new
Patriarch will advance the cause of ecumenical ties in Romania.
Relations between Romanian Catholics and Orthodox have been frayed in
recent years, largely because of conflicts over the ownership of
parish properties that were confiscated by the country's Communist
regime and handed over to Orthodox clerics.
Patriarch Daniel, the former Metropolitan of Moldova, was elected on
September 12 to succeed Patriarch Teoctist, who died in July at the
age of 92. Cardinal Walter Kasper (bio - news), president of the
Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, attended the coronation
ceremony for the new Orthodox leader, and delivered the message from
Promising his prayers for the spiritual needs of the Romanian
Orthodox Church, Pope Benedict's message affirms the need for all
Christians to counteract "the various ideological currents that
currently attract a large number of our contemporaries." He then
underlines the need for ecumenical unity, and expresses confidence
that Romanian Catholics and Orthodox can resolve "with patience,
reciprocal charity, and hope," the problems that "continue to hinder
fraternal communion between Catholics and Orthodox." ?