ECUMENISM: KASPER IN RUSSIA; MGR. PEZZI, "IMPORTANT FOR RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO CHURCHES"

An "important" visit, especially for the "relations between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church". That’s how mgr. Paolo Pezzi, archbishop of Moscow, looks at the trip that card. Walter Kasper, President of the Papal Council for the promotion of the unity of Christians, will take in the Russian Federation from 21 to 30 May. "The cardinal – highlights to SIR mgr. Pezzi – will have a number of meetings, with the Patriarch Alexius II and with the metropolitan bishop Kirill, whom he will meet in Smolensk. In addition, he will visit some Orthodox and Catholic places; in particular, I think I should mention his visit to Kazan, where he will go on a pilgrimage to the icon of the Virgin of Kazan, which he brought back himself to Russia and to the Orthodox Church a few years ago. "As to the strict meaning of this trip, that is, as far as the Catholic Church is concerned – added the archbishop –, card. Kasper’s presence in Moscow is certainly, for us, suggestive of the love and kindness of the Pope who sent here such an important assistant of his. We are waiting for him tomorrow evening, on the occasion of the Feast of Corpus Domini that he will celebrate with us and with the Catholic community of Moscow". (continued)

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