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Moscow Patriarch says Easter greetings to Pope didn't imply warmer relations

Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow says the Easter greetings he sent to John Paul II did not imply a rapprochement with the Catholic Church.

"Easter is a great feast, and the greetings are addressed to all the leaders of Christian Churches throughout the world," the patriarch of All Russias said March 30, according to a report by Itar-Tass.

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church stressed that relations with the Vatican have not improved.

"We hope the Vatican will take a step in our direction," he said.

Vatican-Orthodox relations deteriorated last February when the Holy Father decided to create four dioceses in Russia. The Moscow Patriarchate saw the decision as evidence of "proselytism".


9 Apr 2002