06 August 2008, 16:20
Cardinal Etchegaray grateful to Patriarch Alexy's support during his illness
Rome, August 6, Interfax - President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Cardinal Roger Etchegaray has stated he highly appreciates old friendship with Patriarch Alexy II and thanks him for his support in difficult moments.
"Only some months ago, as soon as he knew of the accident that happened to me, his telephone call reached me in the clinic where I lay in bed nearly paralyzed: the voice of Patriarch Alexis who comforted me in German and testified to all his friendly loyalty," the cardinal writes in his article published in a special Russian version of 30 Giorni Catholic magazine.
This issue has become possible thanks to cooperation of the magazine headed by former Italian prime Giulio Andreotti with the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations.
Etchegaray noted that shortly before the telephone talk with Alexy II he saw him in Paris and according to the cardinal, he "had done a lot to facilitate this historic journey of his: the first Russian Patriarch received officially in Paris, with President Sarkozy at his side."
"It is often said that I am a personal friend of Patriarch Alexis II... and it is definitely true! And to be sincere, our friendship is a very old one," the Vatican representative confessed.
According to him, for forty years, almost every year, if they didn't meet with the patriarch, they "wrote to each other."
"Two distinct Churches but, we know it, sisters, truly sisters. It says a lot that two Churches acknowledge themselves sisters!" Cardinal Roger Etchegaray stressed.