Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Russians Are Coming???

Thus spake Lajolo....

Pope Benedict XVI could meet Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexis II "in the near future", according to the Vatican's secretary for relations with states, effectively the foreign minister of the Roman Catholic micro-state.

In an interview with the Romanian newspaper Ziua, published Thursday by the Holy See's press service, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo said he was confident that the Catholic Church's relations with Russian Orthodox leaders could improve.

A meeting between the pope and Alexis II would be "a significant gesture towards progress on the long and difficult path" of cooperation between these branches of Christianity, said the archbishop....

Lajolo stressed that relations between the Vatican and the Patriarchs were still difficult, citing differences of vision on doctrinal and historical matters and "misunderstandings... arising from different sensibilities and mentalities".

But he said these differences "should not be too hard to overcome, with a bit of goodwill on both sides."

Now, some of you smarter ones out there might be asking why Lajolo -- whose last assignment was the nunciature in Berlin -- was chosen to deliver this very important message....

And if, indeed, you are asking yourself that, you might just be onto something.