Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Catholic Church won't keep up its dialogue with Orthodox world without the Russian Church, the Vatican's representative assures

30 May 2008, 16:57

Moscow, May 30, Interfax - Head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Cardinal Walter Kasper stated that the Roman Catholic Church would keep up its theological dialogue with local Orthodox Churches only with the Moscow Patriarchate participating.

"We launched the dialogue with all Orthodox Churches and we won't continue it without the Russian Orthodox Church," he said in his interview cited by the official website of the Moscow Theological Academy.

The theological dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and local Orthodox Churches goes on international level in frames of the Mixed Orthodox-Catholic Theological Commission with the Catholic party co-chaired by Kasper. The last session of this Commission was held in October 2007 in Ravenna.

Then the Moscow Patriarchate's representatives left its plenary session as they didn't agree to the participation of the so-called Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church established in 1996 by the Constantinople Patriarchate on the canonical territory of the Russian Church. The session's participants without the Moscow Patriarchate representatives adopted a final document defining their shared attitude to the nature of authority in the Ecumenical Church.

The cardinal noted that the conflict between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Constantinople Patriarchate was "an inter-Orthodox affair." "We can't interfere in these relations, but hope for the compromise," Kasper stressed.

He also reminded that this issue had been twice negotiated with the representative of the Constantinople Patriarchate and the cardinal reported it to the head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad.

According to Kasper, he would broach the subject again during June visit of the Constantinople Patriarchate's delegation to Rome.

As to the final document adopted in Ravenna without the Moscow delegation, the cardinal stated that the document wasn't ratified and this process would start "only when this stage of the dialogue is over."



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