01 June 2007, 16:59
Patriarch, Pope will not meet in Strasbourg - Moscow Patriarchate
Moscow, June 1, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate has denied rumors that Patriarch Alexy II and Pope Benedict XVI will meet in Strasbourg in October.
"There are no plans to hold a between the heads of the two churches in Strasbourg," deputy head of the department for external church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin told Interfax on Friday.
"As far as I know, the approach of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) President Rene van der Linden is that the speeches of Patriarch Alexy II and Pope Benedict XVI will be two different events that will not coincide in time," he added.
"By linking the planned visit of the Patriarch to Strasbourg with the question of his meeting with the Pope some journalists are evidently engaging in wishful thinking," Father Vsevolod said.
"Some Duma deputies seem to be trying to pose as self-proclaimed mediators between the two Churches," he said.
"Nobody has the authority to act as mediators. If they try to pose as such, they are simply trying to make themselves important ahead of the elections and advertise their imaginary influence on relations between the two churches," he said.
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