02 October 2007, 12:58
Alexy II hopes his visit to France will strengthen Orthodox-Catholic relations
Strasbourg, October 2, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia, in the course of his visit to France, has pointed to the importance of developing Orthodox-Catholic relations.
“I am convinced of the importance of developing further the bilateral relations between our two Churches in a spirit of love and mutual respect. This is especially important at a time when our Churches have to respond to numerous challenges of today”, the patriarch said during his meeting with the Catholic Archbishop Jean-Pierre Grallet of Strasbourg.
Alexy II cited as an example the cooperation between the two Churches on the level of the church representations in Strasbourg, which, according to him, are actively involved in the work of the Council of Europe, presenting the Christian position on many issues and making a real impact on decisions taken by political leaders.
After the meeting with the archbishop, the primate of the Russian Church visited the cathedral of Strasbourg for a concert of Russian church choirs given under the project “Voices of the Orthodox Russia in France”, the Moscow Patriarchate’s official website has reported on Tuesday.
Addressing the audience, Alexy II stressed that he made his visit to France at the invitation, among others, of the Catholic Church in France and with direct participation of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in France.
“Believers today have an enormous responsibility and no less complex mission to bear witness to their faith. It is gratifying that in this endeavor the Catholics and the Orthodox can unite their efforts. We can and must assert together our Christian values and defend them against profanation and disdain”, the patriarch stressed.
The primate also expressed hope that his visit to France and talks with Catholic hierarchs and faithful there would “bring good fruit and contribute to an improvement in Orthodox-Catholic relations in Europe and in the world”.
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