05 July 2010, 13:56
Russian Church hopes to develop cooperation with Vatican under new head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
Moscow, July 5, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate expresses hope for development of the dialogue with the Catholic Church under the new head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Bishop Kurt Koch.
"I hope that new prospects for cooperation have been opened for us for the benefit of the both Churches," head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk says in his message to Bishop Kurt Koch posted by the DECR website.
The Metropolitan pointed out that for half a century which had elapsed since Pontifical Council establishment the structure "played an important role in defining ways of dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian Churches and communities."
"Thanks in no small degree to your predecessors as presidents of the Council, constructive relations have been developed between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church," the message reads.
Metropolitan Hilarion noted that for many years he had known Bishop Kurt Koch "as a zealous pastor and serious theologian committed to the tradition of the Early Church and the idea of Christian unity." He expressed hope that the bishop's pastoral ministry in Switzerland as one of the centers of inter-Christian dialogue and international diplomacy would help him fulfill new duties, while his rich experience would contribute to the successful development of the Council work.
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