2008-10-07 10:41:00

Alexy II to visit Istanbul

Moscow, October 7, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia is due to visit Istanbul on Saturday and Sunday, a senior bishop said.

Alexy will take part in a meeting of heads of the Orthodox Churches of various countries that is being organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople as an event to mark the current Year of the Apostle Paul, Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk told reporters.

At a meeting with Alexy II during the celebration in Kiev in July of the 1020th anniversary of the introduction of Christianity in Russia, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I expressed hope the Russian Patriarch would be able to take part in October's meeting in Istanbul.

However, in a letter of June 3, Alexy told Bartholomew that the Moscow Patriarchate would not attend forums whose participants included an Estonian Autonomous Orthodox Church that comes under the Constantinople Patriarchate but is not recognized by the Moscow Patriarchate.

Alexy expressed hope that Bartholomew would take this into account in organizing the Istanbul meeting.