The Associated Press
Published: August 8, 2007
VATICAN CITY: The Vatican on Wednesday welcomed a meeting this week in Moscow between a senior Roman Catholic cardinal and the Russian Orthodox patriarch intended to improve relations between the two churches.
The encounter Tuesday took place in a "brotherly climate," the Vatican said
Cardinal Roger Etchegaray brought a message from Pope Benedict XVI to his meeting with Patriarch Alexy II, who assured the prelate he would reply personally, the Vatican said.
Tensions between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church have stood in the way of a meeting of the two religious leaders, as well as a papal visit to Russia.
The Russian Church accuses Roman Catholics of improperly seeking converts in areas that traditionally would be Russian Orthodox, a charge the Vatican has rejected.
In reports from Moscow on Tuesday, Russian media quoted Etchegaray as saying relations between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches are improving and the patriarch and the pope are considering a meeting.
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