Here's to unity my friends!


VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2008 ( - Cardinal Walter Kasper left for Moscow today to take a message from Benedict XVI to Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia.

Cardinal Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, will be in Russia through May 30. The trip was undertaken at the invitation of Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, the president of the Department of External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate, reported the pontifical council.

The program of the visit includes an inaugural celebration for the feast of Corpus Christi at the Catholic cathedral of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow.

The cardinal will be received by Patriarch Alexy II in an encounter during which the cardinal will give him the Pope’s message.

The pontifical council president will also participate in a celebration for the name day of Metropolitan Kirill.

Cardinal Kasper will make a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Kazan, to venerate the icon of Our Lady, which he himself brought to Russia in 2004 in the name of Pope John Paul II.

A visit to the monastery of Diveyevo is also scheduled. There, the cardinal will venerate a saint of the Orthodox Church, Seraphim of Sarov, particularly beloved by the Russian people.



On a related note, has the Catholic-Orthodox Church put forth any sort of official “short list” of theological issue which need to be resolved?



I believe they are trying to tackle the East’s problem with the doctrine of papal infallibility/supremacy. The Filioque has been discussed in past meetings also. I think they should start with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s statements:

Certainly, no one who claims allegiance to Catholic theology can simply declare the doctrine of primacy null and void, especially not if he seeks to understand the objections and evaluates with an open mind the relative weight of what can be determined historically. Nor is it possible, on the other hand, for him to regard as the only possible form and, consequently, as binding on all Christians the form this primacy has taken in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The symbolic gestures of Pope Paul VI and, in particular, his kneeling before the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch were an attempt to express precisely this and, by such signs, to point the way out of the historical impasse.
*[Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1987), p. 198]

Rome must not require more from the East with respect to the doctrine of primacy than had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium.
Joseph Ratzinger****


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