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Pope Salutes Alexy II

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Bianca
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« on: December 05, 2008, 12:21:33 pm »










WARMING RELATIONS.



Once-frosty relations between the Catholic and Orthodox worlds have been slowly improving for years and took important steps forward when the previous pope, John Paul II, visited Orthodox countries such as Romania, Greece and Ukraine.

The Polish pope wanted to visit Russia but never received an invitation from Alexy. With 85 million members, the Russian Orthodox Church is the most numerous in the Orthodox world and it has also been the most anti-Rome.

Alexy always said a meeting in Russia or the Vatican could only take place if there was progress in key areas of discord, such as Orthodox accusations of 'proselytism' by Catholics in Russia and former Soviet Union countries.

Proselytism means when members of one church try to convert the believers of another.

Relations between Rome and Moscow appeared to have improved with Benedict's election in 2005. Analysts noted that the German pontiff was greatly respected in the Orthodox world, partly because of his evident attachment to tradition.

It was also sometimes suggested that, with a Polish pope in the Vatican, progress was hindered by Russia's perceived distrust for that nation.



photo: Alexy II 
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