Benedict XVI, the Pope of Rome, thanked Patriarch Aleksei of Moscow and all the Russias for his “commitment to fostering relations between Catholics and Orthodox”, the Vatican Information Service reported. This message was delivered to the patriarch by Cardinal Walter Kasper last week. the pontiff pointed out that Patriarch Aleksei has been “increasingly committed to dialogue with other Christians and the members of other religions”, and thanked the patriarch for “the signs of fraternity and friendship” towards the Roman Catholic Church demonstrated by the Moscow Patriarchate. With joy, Benedict XVI noted the “growing closeness” between the two Churches, “accompanied by a mutual desire to promote authentic Christian values”.
In his letter, the Pope acknowledged that he was grateful for the recent visit of Patriarch Aleksei to Strasbourg and Paris and the warm welcome given to Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, the head of the Roman Catholic archdiocese in Moscow, during the Christmas celebrations last year. The pontiff said that another sign of fraternity and friendship towards the Roman Catholic Church was the invitation extended to Cardinal Kasper by Metropolitan Kirill to visit the Diocese of Smolensk on his name-day. “This isn’t only a sign of personal goodwill, but it’s also a gesture towards the Catholic Church which Cardinal Kasper represents”, the Pope wrote. “May the Risen Saviour grant you health, peace, and spiritual happiness, and may he bring us closer to each other, that we may undertake together our journey towards full communion in Him”, Benedict XVI wrote to Patriarch Aleksei.
2 June 2008
This is classic GIGO. What Benedict really said was, “Damn! He still won’t meet with me so that we can have some great photo-ops”. The fact that Kyrill Gundyaev met with Cardinal Kasper means nothing. If a Catholic meets with Kyrill or Hilarion Alfeyev, it means that nothing beyond polite pleasantries can be expected. Now, if they were meeting with Fr Vsevolod Chaplin or Bishop Mark Golovkov, it’d mean that the dialogue was actually getting somewhere. As it stands, nothing’s changed. The pope won’t be allowed to visit until he reins in the Galician Uniates and accepts Aleksei as his absolute equal in all ways. Since that has about as much chance of happening as G W Bush telling the truth… don’t hold your breath, it’s unhealthy (and undignified, besides). I do confess that I LOVE throwing buckets of ice-cold water on the ecumaniacs… it isn’t exactly Hoyle, but… it’s such FUN!