10 January 2008, 18:07
Among the reasons for improvement in relations with Vatican is that Benedict XVI doesn't strive to come to Moscow – Moscow Patriarchate
Moscow, January 10, Interfax – Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad considers possible a meeting between Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and Pope Benedict XVI of Rome on neutral territory.
‘Since Benedict became a pope, our relations have improved. He removed his visit to Moscow off the agenda. Such a visit would not solve any problems, but result in new ones’, Metropolitan Kirill stated in an interview published on Thursday by German magazine Spiegel.
He reminded that till the present moment many believers of Russia ‘did not confide in Catholics’ and that is ‘a heritage of wars and missionary actions (of the Vatican – IF) in the 17th -18th centuries’.
At the same time Metropolitan Kirill said that ‘it is quite possible’ for the Pope and Patriarch to meet in a third country.
‘All recent developments make this meeting possible’, the Moscow Patriarchate’s representative stated.
He also stressed that the pontific’s nationality ‘does not play any important role’ in the question of his possible meeting with Alexy II.
According to Metropolitan Kirill, schism between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches reminds of a divorce as it is resulted from ‘human sins’: West and East ‘divorced as they thought they would not need each other’.
‘Reunion is possible only through a spiritual closing on. We can sign as many papers as one wishes. But if we do not have a feeling that we love each other, that we are one family, that we need each other there will be no reunion’, Metropolitan Kirill thinks.
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