Loading
Russian Orthodox Patriarch could meet with Pope

.- Thawing relations between the long-separated Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches could lead to a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Alexy II.

While visiting France Patriarch Alexy II, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, suggested that a meeting with the pope could take place "perhaps not in a month but in a year or two," the International Herald Tribune reports.

The Catholic and Orthodox churches have been separated for almost a thousand years.  However, Catholic engagement with other Orthodox Churches has improved of late. In Istanbul last year, Pope Benedict visited Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual head of the world's 220 million Orthodox.

But the Russian Orthodox Church has remained distant.

Father Ronald Roberson, an expert on the Orthodox with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the patriarch's comments were "an important step forward."  He continued:  "if he's talking about a meeting in a certain period of time, that is something that is quite new."

Catholic and Orthodox Christians have found common ground on moral issues and the problems of secularism.   Patriarch Alexy II said in an interview with the French daily Le Figaro that both churches must cooperate to combat homosexual marriage and "propaganda in favor of euthanasia and abortion."  He also said he had "the same approach" to Europe's lack of spiritual values as Pope Benedict XVI.

Some conflicts between the two churches could impede the visit.  Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, cited as problematic "missionary activities among some people belonging to the Catholic Church in Russia and some Greek Catholics in some parts of Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan." 

In a telephone interview he said, "Some activities of certain parts of the Roman Catholic Church hurt deeply, and there are those who say the Vatican puts forward one hand for shaking hands and the other to hit us. To avoid this impression it is important to solve the problems in sincere and concrete dialogue." 

Other sources of tension include the status of former Catholic church buildings confiscated by the Soviets and now in Orthodox possession.

Anatoly Krasikov, head of the Center for Socio-Religious Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, thought a meeting between the pope and the Russian patriarch inevitable.

"I think that sooner or later this meeting must occur," he said. "There is more understanding between both churches." But, he added, "there is much that still divides Catholics and the Orthodox."


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A Look at India from Rome
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
Aug
1

Liturgical Calendar

August 1, 2014

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:54-58

Gospel
Date
08/01/14
07/31/14
07/30/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 26: 1-9
Gospel:: Mt 13: 54-58

Saint of the Day

St. Alphonsus Liguori »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Homily
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: