2005-06-22 13:52:00

Cardinal Kasper: The Roman Catholic Church will conduct dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church by "small steps"

Moscow, 22 June, Interfax - The Vatican does not plan to undertake cardinal steps in the dialogue with the Moscow Patriarchate; still, there will be small steps forward, stated Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who is in Moscow for a working visit.

'I am here to repeat the proposals that have been already voiced by our side. It is not only we who should make steps, as dialogue is always a reciprocal affair in which both sides participate. We would like to see what exactly we can do together, to see opportunities. There will be no cardinal steps, there will only be small steps. Many small steps lead to the goal as well', said the cardinal in an interview to the Catholic Svet Yevangelia (the light of the gospel - IF).

He said that during the forthcoming negotiations with Metropolitan Kirill, relations between the Orthodox and the Greek Catholics in Ukraine would not be discussed. The sides will rather concentrate on the internal Russian problems'.

Cardinal Kasper also expressed hope that the joint Orthodox-Catholic theological commission, which was set up in the 80s, would manage to resume its work this autumn. The latest plenary session of the commission took place in 2001 in Baltimore, USA. The commission has not met since.

'But all the Orthodox Churches, including the Russian Church, wish to develop the dialogue within this commission. They agree to resume the theological dialogue. There is absolutely nothing new in it. Certainly, we have to re-organize the commission, and we hope to resume the work this autumn', the cardinal said.