|RUSSIAN, GREEK ORTHODOX CONSULT ON POPE'S VISIT
MOSCOW, (CWNews.com) - Greek Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos said on Saturday, as
he arrived in Moscow for a visit with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksei II, that his meeting with
Pope John Paul II last week produced positive results.
The archbishop presented Aleksei with a small medal that was a gift to him from the Pope. "The
pope's trip to Greece was first of all a pilgrimage, and we had nothing against this visit", the
archbishop said. "However we reserved the right to use this moment for reminding him of the
wounds inflicted by the Roman Catholic Church on its Orthodox brothers." The Pope issued an
apology during his two-day trip for the sins of Catholic men and women through the centuries
against their Orthodox brethren, especially the sacking of Constantinople in 1204.
"I made a special point for the Pope that the Russian Orthodox Church is worried by the problem of
union [between the churches]. We also touched on Cyprus. We are now waiting for further positive
steps from the Roman Catholic Church," Christodoulos said.
Patriarch Aleksei reacted coolly to the apology, noting that it was addressed mainly to historical
slights rather than more contemporary events, such as the continuing controversy over the presence
of Catholics in Russia and traditionally Russian Orthodox countries. "We will have to see how this
excuse is implemented in real life," he said.
The Russian Orthodox Church opposes the Pope's visit to Ukraine in June and demands the
Catholic Church renounce all activity it perceives as proselytism and that Ukrainian Catholics refrain
from demanding the return of churches confiscated by the Soviets and handed over to the