14 March 2013, 10:49
Russian Church hopes Orthodox-Catholic ties will grow stronger under new Pope
Moscow, March 14, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church has welcomed the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis.
"The new Pope is known for his conservative views, and his papacy will evidently be marked by the strengthening of faith. The fact that he has taken the name of Francis - reminiscent of Francis of Assisi - confirms his understanding of evangelization primarily as assistance for the poor and the deprived, as protection of their dignity," the Department for External Church Relations' secretary for Inter-Christian Relations Archpriest Dimitry Sizonenko told Interfax-Religion.
"Hopefully, positive dynamics will be maintained in the development of ties between the Russian Orthodox and Catholic Churches" under the new pontiff, he said.
Pope Francis knows the traditions of Eastern Christianity because he was Ordinary for the Eastern Faithful in Argentina, he said.
"Let's hope that this circumstance will help make inter-Christian relations stronger," he said.
As soon as he was elected, Pope Francis asked people to pray for him, which confirms his "great charisma and humbleness," he said.
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