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Pope Sends Letter To Ukrainian Metropolitan

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    JOHN PAUL II SENDS LETTER TO UKRAINIAN METROPOLITAN Says Forthcoming Visit Is to Promote Dialogue VATICAN CITY, APR. 26, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II says
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 27, 2001
      JOHN PAUL II SENDS LETTER TO UKRAINIAN METROPOLITAN
      Says Forthcoming Visit Is to Promote Dialogue

      VATICAN CITY, APR. 26, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II says his forthcoming
      visit to Ukraine is an expression of his "constant and respectful attention
      toward Orthodox brothers, as well as a determined commitment to continue in
      the way of dialogue in truth and charity."

      In a letter to the Orthodox metropolitan bishop of Kiev and All of Ukraine,
      the Holy Father points out that, after receiving several invitations, "as
      Supreme Pastor of the Catholic Church I will finally be able to correspond
      with the intense desire of Ukrainian Catholics, who are so numerous and
      well rooted in the country, to meet them and confirm them in faith in Jesus
      Christ our only Lord."

      The letter, dated March 26 and published today, was personally given to
      Metropolitan Vladimir on April 7 in his residence in Pecherska Lavra, by
      Cardinal Roberto Tucci.

      Vatican Radio said the Pope's visit will take place from June 23-27. The
      Pontiff has been invited by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and the
      Catholic bishops.

      Metropolitan Vladimir had previously sent a letter to the Pope requesting
      him to cancel the trip, believing that relations between Catholics and
      Orthodox were not positive, because of the rebirth of Greek-Catholic
      communities in the country.

      In his reply, the Holy Father said: "My forthcoming visit should be a sign
      of profound understanding, determined to overcome all eventual problems
      arising between us."

      The Pope underlined his desire to meet with Vladimir himself, "to manifest
      personally, with a fraternal embrace, the love I have for you and for all
      the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church."
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