Moscow, July 18, Interfax - The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church at its meeting on Saturday in Moscow expressed hope for a settlement of the existing problems and development of good relations with the Roman Catholic Church.
The Synod resolved that this was necessary ‘for common Christian witness in the world experiencing an offensive of aggressive secularism’.
The Synod heard a report by Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, who represented the Russian Orthodox Church at the enthronement of the new Pope of Rome last spring.
It is pointed out in the background information attached to the Synod’s final document that from the very beginning of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVII declared his desire to develop cooperation between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches.
‘Nevertheless’, the attachment continues, ‘despite the promising statements by Pope Benedict XVI, tension in relations between the Russian Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches continues’.
The Synod reminded that during his meeting with Metropolitan Kirill on June 22, Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, voiced an intention to transfer the main see of the Ukrainian Creek-Catholic Church from Lvov to Kiev.
‘The Orthodox side pointed to the inadmissibility of mentioning Kiev in the title of the head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and transferring his see to Kiev’, the synodal document reminds.
At their today’s meeting, the hierarchs of the Russian Church approved the stand taken by Metropolitan Kirill.