DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     June 30, 1998     vol. 9, no. 126

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- In his Sunday Angelus address, Pope John Paul II proclaimed his delight with the new Catholic-Lutheran accord on the nature of justification.

          "We can rejoice," the Pope said, "at an important ecumenical achievement." He observed that the new statement, to be signed jointly by the Holy See and the World Lutheran Federation, is the result of a dialogue which began soon after Vatican II.

          While the joint declaration does not resolve all disagreements, the Pope continued, it does "express a consensus on the fundamental truths" of the doctrine of justification.

          The Pope said that the new accord is "a gift of the Holy Spirit," and voiced his hope that it would prompt a new impetus toward Christian unity.

          Meanwhile in Moscow it was announced that Pope John Paul II and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksey II are unlikely to hold an historic meeting soon, according to Vatican Foreign Minister Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran after meeting with the Patriarch on Sunday.

          "A meeting will not take place in the near future as there still remain certain circumstances preventing it," the archbishop said. He added that the possibility of such a meeting had not even been discussed. "Certain progress has emerged in relations between the two churches. The meeting is very timely and the development of dialogue will do good for both churches."

          A key point preventing the meeting or a papal visit to Russia or Ukraine is the demand by Ukrainian Catholics that property seized by the Soviets under Communist rule be returned. "To make the meeting possible (between the Pope and Aleksey) one should find real means to improve the situation in western Ukraine," said a senior Russian Orthodox Church official. "The negotiation process, which is not very easy, has so far not produced the desired results."

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

June 30, 1998       volume 9, no. 126


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