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  Tuesday, July 16, 2019
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Pope Benedict XVI is ready to clear the hurdles in the Orthodox-Catholic relations
Pope Benedict XVI is ready to clear the hurdles in the Orthodox-Catholic relations, RIA Novosti was told by the Moscow Patriarchy's foreign religious relations department spokesman commenting on the recent meeting between the department's chief Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad and the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Vatican. "The possibility of overcoming the problems between the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church was underlined," the spokesman said. Speaking with the metropolitan, the Pope "agreed that there is a need for the two churches to promote cooperation in standing for the Christian values common to present-day Europe," the spokesman said. Metropolitan Kirill headed the official Russian Orthodox Church delegation attending the enthronement of Pope Benedict XVI. The meeting on Monday was the first one between the new Pope and a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Moscow Patriarchy also believes that Pope Benedict XVI is capable of a meaningful dialog with the Orthodox Church. "Pope Benedict XVI is a wise and strong man, an intellectual of the purest tint. He is a responsible man and capable of a meaningful dialog with the Orthodox Church. We hope for the dialog to evolve under the new pontiff," the foreign religious relation department's Deputy Chairman Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin told RIA Novosti. "Today is the time of hope, with the relations between the two churches starting anew to a large extent. This allows an opportunity to improve the Orthodox-Catholic relations considerably," the Moscow Patriarchy's spokesman said. According to him, the relations between the two churches can be brought on a higher level, "if steps to help and rebuild trust are made". "We are thankful to Vatican for its statement that the Roman Catholic Church is not going to proselyte among the Orthodox Christians," Chaplin said.
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