DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     February 22, 1999     vol. 10, no. 36

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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PAPAL VISIT TO ROMANIA SEEN AS COURAGEOUS, RISKY

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- A leading representative of the Romanian Orthodox Church has said that the plans for a May visit to Romania by Pope John Paul II are "courageous but risky."

          Archpriest Victor Petlyuchenko, who is representing the Romanian Orthodox patriarchate at a conference in Rome this week, said that the Pope's trip could "open a new era, after a long period of misunderstanding and offenses between Catholics and Orthodox" in Romania. That outcome would be undoubtedly positive, he said.

          However, the Orthodox spokesman cautioned against thinking that the historic trip would lead to a dramatic breakthrough in ecumenical relations. Specifically, he warned that the trip to Romania-- the first trip by the Pope to a predominantly Orthodox European country-- would improve chances for a papal visit to Moscow. Pope John Paul II has frequently voiced his desire to visit Russia, but Orthodox leaders there have been cool toward the idea.

          A direct personal meeting between Pope John Paul and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II "should be joyfully anticipated, as a meeting between two brothers," Archpriest Petlyuchenko said. Nevertheless he pointed out that the Russian Orthodox still express regular concerns about Catholic "proselytism" in their country. Such concerns apparently led the Russian Orthodox synod to scuttle plans for a meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch in 1997.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

February 22, 1999       volume 10, no. 36
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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