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Vatican ecumenist disappointed by Ukrainian Orthodox rebuff

The Vatican's top ecumenical official expressed disappointment that the main Orthodox Church leaders refused to welcome Pope John Paul II in Ukraine, although he thought most Orthodox faithful were happy the pope came.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, strongly rejected the Orthodox accusations of proselytism and aggression by Catholics in Ukraine.

"We want the Orthodox to remain Orthodox, to become better Orthodox. We want to help them, we don't want to convert them -- not at all," Cardinal Kasper said in an interview with Catholic News Service, aboard the pope's plane from Rome to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.