Moscow, February 11, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate hopes relations between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches will be developing as previously when a new pope is elected.
"There are no reasons to expect any radical changes in the Vatican's policy and attitude to the Orthodox Churches. Continuity has always been maintained in the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI has been doing his best to be a worthy successor to his predecessor," the Department for External Church Relations' secretary for Inter-Christian Relations Archpriest Dimitry Sizonenko told Interfax-Religion.
The positive trend in Orthodox-Christian relations will "continue by inertia."
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said earlier on Monday that Pope Benedict XVI had announced he was stepping down. He said in a statement for the press that he lacks strength to do his job.