18 September 2009, 14:01
Moscow Patriarchate believes Uniate expansion in Ukraine the most complicated problem in relations with Vatican
Moscow, September 18, Interfax – Orthodox and Greek-Catholics problems in Ukraine remain the most difficult question in the dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk believes.
“Accepting deep historical and political roots of the problem,” the Archbishop urged the Catholic part to “spare no efforts to withdraw this question from agenda of the bilateral relations,” the Moscow Patriarchate official website has reported on Friday.
The parties also agreed that it was necessary to renew constructive negotiations with participation of all concerned.
Besides, Archbishop Hilarion, who is visiting Rome, met with the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
Speaking to Cardinal Bertone, the Moscow Patriarchate official noted that while the Russian Church unlike Vatican is not a subject of international law, it actively works abroad and represent interests of its parish residing in different countries that constitute its traditional canonical territory.
Archbishop Hilarion expressed hope that when carrying out its mission in the mentioned countries, Vatican would conduct regular consultations with the Moscow Patriarchate local structures. The hierarch also offered to follow the existing model of the Russian Church behavior in traditionally Catholic countries as it keeps friendly and productive contacts with local Catholic dioceses.
Cardinal Bertone stressed that Vatican leaders “have always recognized great prestige and influence of the Moscow Patriarchate on the international scene,” the website further reports.
Archbishop Hilarion gave the cardinal a cross as a present, while Cardinal Bertone gifted the Russian Church official an icon of Transfiguration.
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