06 August 2008, 16:53
The Vatican believes a meeting between Benedict XVI and Alexy II is possible, but urges to avoid speculations
Moscow, August 6, Interfax - Vatican says it believes a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI of Rome and Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow is possible, but urges to avoid speculations and not to force it.
"Again, we hope that a meeting between Pope Benedict and the Patriarch Alexis will be possible." All things go in this direction", the Patriarch said to me," president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity Cardinal Walter Kasper said in his interview to 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.
"This is still not concretely on the agenda, we must be honest, and avoid speculations, that harm everyone. There is willingness on both sides, it is true, but now we must not force it, but rather with active patience promote the reconciliation," the cardinal stressed.
As to Orthodox-Catholic relations, he stressed the importance of a theological dialogue between the two Churches.
"I have the impression that we are on the right path. I don't expect that already tomorrow full unity between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches will be reached. It will be a long process, because an exchange at the top is not sufficient but it is fundamental that the people are involved also, and this takes time," Kasper said.
The Vatican representative went on to say, "A full union doesn't mean uniformist unity."
"The Orthodox tradition and the Latin one have at bottom the same faith but different expressions, and this diversity is also richness. Therefore nobody thinks to impose the Latin system on the Orthodox Churches or viceversa. It will perhaps be the Spirit of God to grant us this unity, but it will be a unity in pluriformity, a pluriformity in unity," the Pontifical Council chair said.
Then, according to him, the next problem "that cannot be overcome from today to tomorrow" will be the supremacy of the bishop of Rome.
"Long discussions will be needed, already underway in our meetings in Belgrade and Ravenna, and we will see how it will end... I am not superficially optimistic. Hope sustains me," the cardinal summed up.