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Papal trip to Lebanon strengthened ties with Orthodox, cardinal reports

Catholic World News - September 21, 2012

The visit to Lebanon by Pope Benedict XVI marked a significant step forward for relations with the Orthodox churches, according to the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.

Cardinal Kurt Koch told L’Osservatore Romano that although public attention focused on relations with Muslims during the papal voyage, because of the current religious tensions in the Middle East, the Pope’s meetings with Orthodox leaders were productive and the Vatican has receive “extremely positive comments” on the trip.

The trip also demonstrated the unity within the Catholic Church, despite the differences among the Eastern Catholics of different rites in Lebanon, Cardinal Koch reported. “One could also state that the relations between the Catholic Church and all the Eastern Orthodox churches are getting better,” he added.

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