2005-10-26 11:03:00

Moscow Patriarchate welcomes Vatican rep

Moscow, October 26, Interfax - Vatican's Secretary for State Relations, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, will begin his visit of Moscow on October 26.

"For us, any visit of a high-ranking Roman Catholic Church representative is an opportunity to compare our positions on Orthodox-Catholic relations," Moscow Patriarchate spokesman Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin told Interfax.

Russian foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said in relation to Lajolo's visit that a dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches would play an important role in the establishment of a dialogue between civilizations in fighting terrorism and extremism.

Lajolo was invited to visit Russian by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. His visit's program includes a meeting with Duma deputies and with Smolensk and Kaliningrad Metropolitan Kirill.

Lajolo is also to take part in a Eucharistic congress, scheduled to take place in Moscow on October 28-30.

This is Lajolo's first visit to Russia. Lajolo was appointed Vatican's Secretary for State Relations during the papacy of John Paul II.