Russian Orthodox Church Looks to Cooperate with EU

MOSCOW, JUNE 18, 2002 ( A Russian Orthodox Church official says he hopes Eastern Christian civilization and its values will be taken into account in the formation of general European law.

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Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, on Monday met with the leaders of the European Commission (EC), the supreme executive body of the European Union.

The meeting took place in the framework of the visit of high-ranking representatives of Christian Churches and European organizations to the commission.

In May, Romano Prodi, EC chairman, sent a letter to Metropolitan Kirill outlining his thoughts about the reaction of the Moscow Patriarchate to a white paper on European governance.

Monday´s meeting included Prodi, EC members Michael Barnier and Antonio Vitorino, director Ricardo Levi of the group of political advisers of the EC chairman, and some members of the EC staff.

Metropolitan Kirill said his Church is ready to take part in the wide dialogue on world issues with the EC structures. Prodi in turn expressed his wish to develop closer contacts between the European Union and the Russia Orthodox Church.

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