2007-08-07 15:52:00

Meeting between Pope Benedict and Patriarch Alexy becoming more likely - Vatican official

Moscow, August 7, Interfax - A meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II is becoming evermore likely, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals said after a meeting with the Patriarch.

The sides are progressing towards this goal, and the pace is accelerating, but the Roman Catholic Church cannot make it happen quicker, he said.

The Patriarch and the Pope are thinking about this meeting, but it must be held in truth and sincerity, it should not be populist and should be held when the conditions have been created for it, he said.

Orthodox believers and Catholics should hold a profound dialogue and the meeting between the Pope and Alexy II should express the profoundness of these relations, he said.

Alexy II recognizes that many efforts have been made to improve interaction between the two Churches, he said.

The relations between the two Churches have become warmer, yet they have never been cold. Personal relations with the Patriarch are a good example for interaction between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, he said.

Patriarch Alexy's address to the PACE session in Strasbourg scheduled for autumn will address the whole of Europe, he said.