VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2008 (Zenit.org). - 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.