07 December 2006, 15:48
Benedict XVI: promising dialogue developing between the Catholics and the Orthodox
Moscow, December 7, Interfax – Pope Benedict XVI has again stated the importance of cooperation and rapprochement between the Orthodox and the Catholics in face of modern challenges.
In a letter published on Thursday on the official website of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Pope writes to Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, that ‘love that already unites us can unite out efforts against the dangers threatening us’; and it is about love that a promising mutual dialogue is developing now.
In his letter, the pontiff thanks Metropolitan Kirill for the preface he wrote to his book entitled An Introduction to Christianity, which has recently come out in a Russian version, and reminds the metropolitan of the ‘common and shared concern of the Orthodox and the Catholics’ in face of the threats of secularism.
Benedict XVI stresses that there are legitimate questions and anxieties present in the heart of modern man and it is only the Incarnate Word that can find satisfactory answers to them and that a growing consensus is visible around this conviction in today’s Christendom.
The Pope of Rome’s book now translated into Russian is based on the lectures Joseph Ratzinger read in Tubingen University in 1967. The book treats the fundamental questions of Christian doctrine and the role of faith in the life of a person.
In his preface, Metropolitan Kirill points to the relevance of this work, as ‘Christians living in the beginning of the third millennium are more and more in the need of precisely an introduction to Christianity, a return to its rudiments and sources’.
‘This need is especially strongly felt in Europe – the continent which has been a stronghold of Christianity for centuries and which has its culture and civilization built on the basis of Christian faith’, the preface reads.
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