02 June 2008, 11:53
Benedict XVI is grateful to Alexy II for goodwill towards the Catholic Church
Vatican City, June 2, Interfax - Pope Benedict XVI of Rome thanked Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia for his "commitment to fostering relations between Catholics and Orthodox," the Vatican Information Service has reported.
In his message delivered to the patriarch by Cardinal Walter Kasper, the pontific pointed out that Alexy II had been "increasingly committed to dialogue with other Christians and the members of other religions" and thanked the Russian Church's primate for "signs of fraternity and friendship" towards the Catholic Church from the Moscow Patriarchate.
Benedict XVI with joy noted "growing closeness" between the two Churches, "accompanied by the shared desire to promote authentic Christian values."
The Pope of Rome confessed that he thought with gratitude of the recent visit of Alexy II to Strasbourg and Paris and the warm welcome given to the head of the Catholic archdiocese in Moscow Archbishop Paolo Pezzi during the Christmas celebrations last year.
The pontific said that another sign of fraternity and friendship towards the Catholic Church was to be seen in the invitation extended to Cardinal Kasper by Metropolitan Kirill to visit the Smolensk diocese on the occasion of his name-day. "This is not only a sign of personal goodwill, but also a gesture towards the Catholic Church which Cardinal Kasper represents," the Pope thinks.
"May the Risen Saviour grant you health, peace and inner joy, and may he bring us closer to each other, that we may undertake together our journey towards full communion in Him," Benedict XVI writes to Alexy II.
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