Russia: Impossible Meeting between Orthodox Patriarch and Pope

Source: FSSPX News

The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill.

A meeting between the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill and pope Benedict XVI seems very unlikely. “It is impossible to organize the rendez-vous,” declared Ilarion of Volokolamsk, president for exterior relations at the Patriarchate of Moscow. “We are ready to labor to have such a meeting take place, but there are certain conditions […] The meeting is possible if positive advances take place before and not after the meeting. As of now, there is no such positive advances,” he stated.
The spokesman for the patriarchate specified that the main stumbling block is about “the West of the Ukraine,” for, according to him, “many Orthodox in the area are deprived of the possibility of praying in churches.” He was probably alluding to the members of the Uniate Church, considered as “traitors” by Moscow, because they have submitted to the pope’s authority. Accusations of proselytism  leveled by Russian Orthodox against the Catholics are regularly recurring.
Benedict XVI, who committed himself to work for a rapprochement between all the Christian churches has already met new Russian Patriarch Kirill three time at the Vatican, in 2005, 2006, and 2007, when he was head of the department for exterior relations of the Russian church. (DICI n° 205 - 11/19/2009 – Sources: afp/apic/imedia)