18 March 2011, 11:36
Sooner or later Patriarch Kirill and Benedict XVI will meet, the Vatican says
Moscow, March 18, Interfax -Meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is not actual for the both sides, the Vatican says.
"The meeting is not in the agenda. Both the Holy Father and His Holiness wish this meeting took place, but it should be thoroughly prepared," Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, told journalists in Moscow.
His words match with the position more than once voiced by the Moscow Patriarchate: as its officials do not exclude a possibility of such a meeting, but believe that first it is necessary to settle all contradictions in bilateral relations.
According to Koch, both Churches have unsettled questions in frames of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue, there are "problems in Ukraine" between Orthodox and Greek Catholic believers.
At the same time the cardinal added that the level of interaction between the Patriarch Kirill and Benedict XVI "give grounds to suppose that the meeting between them will eventually take place."
On the eve, in frames of his visit to Moscow Koch met with Patriarch Kirill. He confessed that "the conversation was held in open and friendly atmosphere," prospects of interaction between the two Churches were discussed.
"Modern Europe is abandoning Christian values and each Church is urged to witness to Christian traditions, to its faith and values. It is very important to make this witness joint," the cardinal stressed.
In his turn, DECR acting secretary for inter-Christian relations priest Dimitry Sizonenko, summing up the results of meeting with Koch told the journalists that they also discussed questions of cooperation at international organizations "on standing for Christian ideas of marriage and family, what we call traditional moral values."
Besides, the discussion touched upon some issues of theological dialogue in frames of the Joint Commission, especially "the question of probable returning to the Ravenna document in order to understand when the mistake was made and to further go in this direction."
"Russian Church didn't participate in compiling the Ravenna Document - final text of the Joint Commission in October 2007 in Ravenna dedicated to the nature of authority in the Ecumenical Church. Then representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate accused Vatican of imposing Orthodox world an administrative model characteristic for the Catholic Church headed by the Pope of Rome.