Russian Orthodox Leader Slams Papal Trip to Kazakhstan

VATICAN, Oct 8, 01 ( - Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksei II has reiterated his displeasure with the visit by Pope John Paul II to Kazakhstan, saying that the Pope should not have traveled to "the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate."

During a press conference in Rome, the Russian Orthodox leader complained of "Catholic expansionism." He added: "Today, we have no more reason to hope for improvement in our relations with the Vatican."

Nevertheless, a young representative of the Moscow Patriarchate arrived in Rome this week, hoping to "get to know the Catholic Church better and pursue the dialogue." Igor Vyzhanov, who works in foreign affairs for the Russian Orthodox hierarchy, told reporters in Rome that relations between the Vatican and Moscow were at a low ebb. Vyzhanov also said that he could not envision a visit by Pope John Paul to Russia until some key difficulties between the two churches are resolved. He observed, "I really do not understand why the Pope's spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, said John Paul would travel to Russian before the end of his pontificate."

Catholic World News Service - Daily News Briefs
8. oktober 2001

av Webmaster publisert 09.10.2001, sist endret 09.10.2001 - 16:41