Romanian Optimistic About Papal Trip to Russia

Romanian Optimistic About Papal Trip to Russia

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BUCHAREST, Romania, MAY 11, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Teoctist says he is optimistic about a possible papal visit to Moscow, despite the reservations of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II, according to the Associated Press.

John Paul II´s recent visit to Greece “was beneficial for the concepts of ecumenism, dialogue and rapprochement” between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the patriarch said Thursday during a break in a meeting of the World Council of Churches.

In May 1999, Romania was the first Orthodox country to be visited by a pope. John Paul II´s trip was a historic step for the reconciliation of Romanian Catholics and Orthodox.

The two Churches have made significant progress in their relations, coming to agreements to guarantee the rights of Greek-Catholics, who, like the Orthodox, are Christians of Eastern liturgy and tradition, but faithful to the Pope.

A Catholic-Orthodox commission in this country is working to overcome practical problems of coexistence, such as the restitution of churches that were seized during the Stalin era.

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