Patriarch-Pope talks possible after rifts overcome: Moscow Patriarchate
September 25, 2008
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Rehearsing a familiar stance, a spokesman for the Moscow patriarchate told Interfax that Patriarch Alexei II could meet with Pope Benedict XVI-- but only after the Russian Orthodox Church is satisfied with the Vatican's answers to complaints about "proselytism" by Catholics in the "canonical territory" of the Orthodox Church. The Vatican has consistently rejected the idea that eastern Europe is the "canonical territory" of the Moscow patriarchate, and argued that Catholic missionaries are evangelizing the unchurched, not Orthodox believers. These arguments were repeated after President Alexandr Lukashenko of Belarus suggested an ecumenical summit meeting in his country.
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