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Relations with Vatican improved, but no 'summit' meeting likely: Russian Patriarch

Catholic World News - January 30, 2012

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has said that although relations between the Moscow patriarchate and the Vatican are improving, he does not anticipate a face-to-face meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in the near future.

Russian political leaders have been encouraging the Moscow patriarchate to arrange a “summit meeting” between the Pope and the Patriarch. But many Orthodox prelates oppose the idea, and resentments against the Catholic Church—centered primarily on the alleged “proselytism” of Catholics in Eastern Europe—remain a concern. Before a meeting with the Pope is scheduled, “we need to solve—or at least put some serious effort into solving—our issues,” Patriarch Kirill said.

While the Vatican has worked steadily to improve relations with Moscow, and met with some success, Pope Benedict has not made a major effort to meet with the Patriarch. His predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, had openly sought such a meeting.

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