2005-06-22 10:18:00

Vatican official notes progress in relations with the Moscow Patriarchate

Moscow, 22 June, Interfax - Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, believes that a noticeable progress has been made in the dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church.

‘Our relationships with the Russian Orthodox Church have considerably improved recently, because the two churches themselves are very close to each other. There are the commandments and the sacrament of the Eucharist’, Cardinal Kasper said in a talk with journalists in Moscow where he has arrived for a working visit.

The cardinal expressed hope that his visit to Moscow would contribute to the developments of relations between the two churches. ‘We continue dialogue with Metropolitan Kirill’, he said, adding that among concrete steps on the way to this dialogue was the establishment of a joint working group for settling disputes.

He was also optimistic about the future of relations between the Orthodox and the Greek Catholics in Ukraine, where the Uniate attempts to capture Orthodox churches have become more frequent recently.

The cardinal reminded that the present pope recently called the Christian churches to unity. ‘I believe this line will continue, and also in Ukraine’, said the envoy of Pope Benedict XVI.