Monday, August 13, 2007

Catholic Cardinal: relations with Orthodox Church warmer

13 August 2007, 10:17

Novosibirsk, August 13, Interfax - A senior Roman Catholic bishop said on Saturday that relations between the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches had become warmer recently.

They had never been too cold either, Roger Cardinal Etchegaray, vice dean of the College of Cardinals, a body bringing together all Roman Catholic cardinals, told a news conference in Novosibirsk.

He said he had known Alexy II head of the Russian Orthodox Church, for 30 years and that they had done a lot of work for Europe together.

This is Etchegaray's first visit to Siberia. The purpose of his coming is to speak at a mass on Sunday marking the 10th anniversary of the consecration of the Transfiguration Cathedral in Novosibirsk.

Bishop Joseph Werth, head of the Transfiguration diocese, speaking at the same news conference, said about 100 Catholic priests worked in Siberia today and that five of them were graduates of seminaries in Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg.

"Whereas we made nearly no plans during the first 10 years, now we should create pastoral programs and pay attention to the training of laity" to help the clergy, he said.


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