Moscow Patriarchate Unhappy About New Catholic Dioceses

MOSCOW, FEB. 11, 2002 ( The Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow criticized John Paul II´s decision to create four Catholic dioceses in Russia.

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Igor Vyjanov, a collaborator in the patriarchate´s Department of Relations with Other Christian Churches, said the decision was «not very friendly to the Russian Church, an initiative taken without keeping its interests in mind,» Interfax reported.

The decision «will complicate» the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, Vyjanov said over Moscow´s radio Echo.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, will visit the Moscow Patriarchate from Feb. 21-22.

This is an «attempt of a certain wing of the Catholic Church to continue with obstinacy its missionary work in Russia,» the Orthodox representative added.

Vyjanov added: «In Russia there are no territories where Catholics might constitute a compact population, as in Lithuania or in the west of Byelorussia and Ukraine.»

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