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Alexy II Praises Letter on 1962 Missal

ROME, AUG. 29, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI’s move to allow for wider celebration of the Roman Missal of 1962 has received a positive reaction from the Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow.

“The recovery and valuing of the ancient liturgical tradition is a fact that we greet positively,” Alexy II told the Italian daily Il Giornale.

Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter “Summorum Pontificum,” published in July, explains new norms allowing for the use of the 1962 missal as an extraordinary form of the liturgical celebration.

“We hold very strongly to tradition,” he continued. “Without the faithful guardianship of liturgical tradition, the Russian Orthodox Church would not have been able to resist the period of persecution.”

When asked about the relationship between Rome and Moscow, the patriarch said: “It seems to me that Benedict XVI has repeated many times that he desires to work in favor of dialogue and collaboration with the Orthodox Churches. And this is positive.”

Regarding a possible meeting between Alexy II and Benedict XVI, the patriarch said it must be well-prepared, and “be an encounter that truly helps to consolidate relations between our two Churches.”

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