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Chances of Pope-Patriarch Meeting Gain

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hbNfRPhCdGyJQSNnHE6oJaM4-mGQD8U37UPG0 Chances of Pope-Patriarch Meeting Gain 8 hours ago BERLIN (AP) — Chances of a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 10, 2008
      http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hbNfRPhCdGyJQSNnHE6oJaM4-mGQD8U37UPG0

      Chances of Pope-Patriarch Meeting Gain

      8 hours ago

      BERLIN (AP) — Chances of a meeting between Pope
      Benedict XVI and the Russian Patriarch Alexy II
      at a neutral location are improving, a top
      official in the Russian Orthodox Church was
      quoted as telling a German magazine this week.

      In an interview with the weekly Der Spiegel,
      Metropolitan Kirill, the top foreign relations
      official in the Russian church, said relations
      between the two churches have become warmer since
      Benedict was elected pope in 2005; and that after
      his own meeting with the pontiff last month, it
      is evident that "relations have improved."

      Asked whether he could imagine the pope and
      patriarch meeting in a third country, away from
      Russia and the Vatican, Kirill replied that "it's
      certainly possible," Der Spiegel reported.

      He was quoted as saying that "the entire
      development in bilateral relations is moving in
      the direction of such meeting coming about."

      Relations between Russian Orthodox and Roman
      Catholics have at times been tense.

      The Russian Orthodox Church has accused Roman
      Catholics of improperly seeking converts in
      traditionally Orthodox areas. The Vatican has
      rejected the claim, saying it only ministers to
      the country's Catholics, mostly of Eastern
      European and German origin, and who number about
      600,000 in a country of 142 million.

      The tensions prevented Pope John Paul II from
      realizing his dream of visiting Moscow in his
      quest to bring Orthodox and Catholics closer together.

      Benedict has also made efforts toward
      Orthodox-Catholic unity a priority of his pontificate.

      Kirill told Der Spiegel that Benedict had
      "removed the issue of a visit to Moscow from the agenda."

      "This sort of visit would not have solved any
      problems, but it would have provoked new ones,"
      he was quoted as saying. "Many of the faithful in
      Russia mistrust Catholics. This is a legacy of
      the wars and of proselytization efforts in the 17th and 18th centuries."

      Interview in English: http://tinyurl.com/2pcj72
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