11 November 2008, 19:16
No summit between Alexy and Benedict XVI prepared in Baku – Bishop of Baku
Baku, November 11, Interfax - Bishop of Baku and Near-Caspian Region Alexander said he was perplexed with the information that he did not rule out a possible summit in Baku between Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II and Pope Benedict XVI.
"That is what journalists have ascribed me, I have never said that," he told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.
Earlier some media outlets quoted an opinion that had been allegedly voiced by Bishop Alexander that a summit between Bishop Alexander and the Pope could take place in Baku in a year. Alexy II and Benedict XVI have been invited to Baku to take part in the forum of the heads of world religions scheduled to be held between October 30 and December 2.
However, today in his comments to Interfax-Religion Bishop Alexander said his alleged words on a possible meeting between the heads of two Churches in Baku were taken out of context and were his answer to the journalist's question on a basic possibility of a meeting between the Patriarch and the Pope.
"The Patriarch repeatedly said that a possibility of such a meeting was not excluded, but it should not be a show in front of the TV cameras, it should have a constructive nature. That is all I said," Bishop Alexander said.
He had asked the same question to the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Azerbaijan, Jan Capla, who said that the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church "have conducted a dialog for a long time, there exists a mixed Orthodox-Catholic theological commission that has operated for many years, that Vatican's high placed officials have been permanently visiting Moscow."
"Neither me, nor Jan Capla are responsible for a possibility of such a meeting. So how can this information come from us?" Bishop Alexander said.
He also said it was possible that his answer had been incorrectly translated into the Azeri language.
"It is one thing to say that a possibility of this meeting is not ruled out, and it is quite a different thing to say that I allegedly said that this meeting is planned in Baku next year," he said.
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