29 May 2008, 14:51
Alexy II, Cardinal Kasper discuss Uniate Church's expansion in Ukraine (updated)
Moscow, May 29, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, discussed in Moscow on Thursday the expansion of the Uniate Church in the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church.
"The talks centered, among other matters, on the expansion of the Uniate Church, including in Ukraine. The Patriarch also said that canonical Orthodox believers in Western Ukraine must have decent church buildings to pray in," a source in the Moscow Patriarchate told journalists after the meeting.
Another issue raised was the spiritual rearing of children, who are heirs of the Orthodox tradition by birth, at Catholic orphanages.
No specific discussion was held on a possible meeting between Alexy II and Pope Benedict XVI, although "the possibility in principle" was confirmed, according to the source.
The Russian Patriarch said that a meeting like this must be thoroughly prepared, so it will not be merely "a photo-up opportunity ," the source said.
Both sides shared their concerns about the Ravenna incident happened on October 2007at the session of the Mixed Orthodox-Catholic Theological Commission. Then the Moscow Patriarchate's representatives left its plenary session as they didn't agree to the participation of the so-called Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church delegates in it. The latter was established in 1996 by the Constantinople Patriarchate on the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate.
"Alexy II stated that Orthodox and Catholic dialogue couldn't develop without the world largest Orthodox Church participating," the source said.
According to him, Kasper agreed with such an opinion.