15 June 2007, 17:01
Speaking of a possible meeting between the Pope and Patriarch Alexy hopefully means assuming that the Vatican is ready to settle problems with Moscow - Andrey Kurayev
Moscow, June 15, Interfax - The Vatican speaking on possibility of a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia may hopefully mean that the Roman Catholic Church really plans to settle her problems with the Russian Church, the professor of the Moscow Theological Academy Dn. Andrey Kurayev opines.
According to the Western media, a few days ago the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Cardinal Walter Kasper said that Alexy II may meet Benedict XVI until the end of the year.
‘Cardinal Kasper is a serious person and politician, so I hope he’s serious when he voices things like that. He must be well aware why the Moscow patriarch and the Roman pontiff have not met so far,’ Kurayev told Interfax.
The possibility of such a meeting has been discussed for 15 years, he noted, but, as the Moscow patriarch said many times, this sort of event should not be formal ‘playing embrace for cameras.’
‘We’d like to hear the head of the Roman Catholic Church voicing a moral evaluation of what happened and partly still happens in the west of Ukraine. I mean Greek Catholic violence against the Orthodox in the name of the union with the Vatican,’ Kurayev added.
To be more precise, he said, we need the pope to disapprove numerous seizures of Orthodox churches and attacks on Orthodox believers by the Greek Catholics in Ukraine.
‘We’d like papal evaluation to have a specified addressee so that the Greek Catholics might hear the bishop of Rome’s voice,’ he added.
According to the professor, if Cardinal Kasper says that a meeting between the patriarch and the pope may be held soon, it means that ‘he knows that Benedict XVI is ready to say something like that.’
‘Otherwise, it’s nothing but press clamor. But if our natural hopes (concerning the Uniatism - IF) are fulfilled, this meeting may become very fruitful,’ Kurayev said.
If the two primates meet, he added, their main objective will be to announce their common conservative Christian views on many publicly discussed issues of today, and ‘their position is unlikely to be liberal.’