Thursday, September 17, 2009

Vatican sees end to tensions with Russian Orthodox

By VICTOR L. SIMPSON (AP) – 6 hours ago

VATICAN CITY — Relations with the Russian Orthodox church have vastly improved, possibly paving the way for a papal visit to Moscow or a historic meeting between the pope and the Orthodox patriarch outside of Russia or the Vatican, a senior Vatican cardinal said Thursday.

Cardinal Walter Kasper told Vatican Radio "we have overcome all the tensions in recent years."

He spoke after meeting with Archbishop Hilarion, head of external relations for the Moscow patriarch's office. Hilarion is scheduled to meet Friday with Pope Benedict XVI.

Kasper said "yes" when asked if a trip to Moscow was a "little bit closer" but said that was not on the agenda for the moment.

More likely was a meeting between Benedict and Patriarch Kirill in another country.

"They are not refusing a meeting with pope: this will probably not take place in Moscow or Rome but in a third location," Kasper said.


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