24 November 2006, 13:07
Timely meeting of Patriarch of Moscow with Pope of Rome ‘in the right place’ would probably bring an important contribution to common witness about Christ - Metropolitan Kirill
Moscow, November 24, Interfax - Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad thinks that a meeting of ‘the Pope with the Patriarch of Moscow at the opportune time and in the right place would probably become an important step’ in the common witness of both Churches about Christian values before the modern world.
‘The Orthodox and the Catholics should say something common to the entire Europe and their believers who have not heard a single opinion on the fundamental problems of our life. That is worth a lot,’ Metropolitan Kirill said in his interview to Moskovskiye Novosti (Moscow News) weekly published Friday.
He believes that ‘certain steps’ on the road to common witness have been made at the recent bilateral conference in Vienna and the World religious summit held in Moscow last July.
‘A meeting of the Pope with the Patriarch of Moscow at the opportune time and in the right place would probably become an important step in this direction.
According to him, ‘it is important that Benedict XVI is open to the common work of the Russian Church and the Vatican aimed at giving answers to the questions that people ask living in the world from which the values common to all Christians are being ousted.’
As the differences in the Orthodox-Catholic relations are not over, Pope’s visit to Russia could increase conflicts between the two Churches.
‘It is very important that the Pope does not insist [on his visit to Russia]. We all understand that the visit as such cannot improve the situation, but may provoke certain difficulties,’ the metropolitan added.
He underscored that both Churches ought to refrain from steps that could make our relations even more complicated. Metropolitan Kirill remarked that the visit of Pope John Paul II to Ukraine ‘had not healed the wounds there.’
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