03 June 2008, 15:10
Statements on upcoming meeting between pope, patriarch may be diplomatic move
Moscow, June 3, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate doesn't rule out that the statement made by Cardinal Walter Kasper saying that Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Alexy II will meet in the nearest future may be a diplomatic move by the Vatican.
Kasper, who heads the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, recently said the pope and the Russian patriarch may meet in the near future.
"Such commentaries by one of the parties are sometimes a diplomatic move intended to put certain soft pressure on the negotiating parties. It's like they are saying 'We are glad, we are looking forward [to a meeting], why are you avoiding us?'" Deacon Andrey Kurayev, a professor at the Moscow Theological Academy, told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.
Kurayev said he did not participant in the negotiations between Kasper and the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church and therefore cannot say which precisely nuances of the dialogue gave the cardinal a reason for optimistic comments.
At the same time, Kurayev said he is hoping tat "some progress has been achieved in our relationship, and it is connected with the fact that the current pope, unlike his predecessor, is not personally responsible for the tragedies in the history of Orthodoxy in Western Ukraine in the early 1990s, when Greek Catholics literally ravaged three Orthodox dioceses."
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