05 July 2006, 11:33
Alexy II is positive about Russian Orthodox - Roman Catholic relations
Moscow, July 5, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and all Russia thanked Pope Benedict XVI for his attention to the World Religious Summit being held in Moscow from July 3 to 5.
‘We thank His Holiness the Pope of Rome Benedict XVI for his high appreciation of an idea of holding the interreligious summit and for his wishes of success to all the participants,’ the patriarch said at the meeting with the Roman Catholic delegation in Moscow on Tuesday.
Alexy II noted that participation of ‘such a representative delegation’ of the Vatican in the World Religious Summit ‘testifies to the positive development of relations between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.’
The primate of the Russian Church underscored the necessity of cooperation between the Orthodox and the Catholics facing many challenges of modern times.
‘Our cooperation is especially needed, as common position on many topical problems of today uniting our churches presents a wonderful opportunity to witness about Christian values before the world,’ the patriarch said.
President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity cardinal Walter Kasper supported the Russian Orthodox Church’s position on this problem.
‘We share your concern for the attempts to marginalize religion in Europe and throughout the world. At the same time I note the growing interest of modern youth to religious life. Our cooperation would be a good sign for the young people, ‘ the cardinal said.
While commenting on the World Religious Summit in Moscow, he remarked: ‘I hear representatives of different religions speaking in favour of peace and denouncing any killing of innocent people. This summit is very important as the voice of its participants will be heard in the world.’
The delegation of the Roman Catholic Church also includes president of the Pontifical Council for culture and interreligious dialogue cardinal Paul Poupard, honourary president of the Pontifical Council ‘Justice and Peace’ cardinal Roger Etchegaray, archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, president of the Conference of Catholic bishops of Russia bishop Joseph Wert, a source in the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations told Interfax.
Taking part in the meeting on behalf of the Russian orthodox church were chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, representative of the Russian orthodox church to the European institutions bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria, and DECR secretary for interchristian relations Rev. Igor Vyzhanov.
The meeting was closed to the press.
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