Cardinal Kasper sees new hope for ecumenical relations
The joint signature on the Venice declaration earlier this week by Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Bartholomew is a new stage in the ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox, said Cardinal Walter Kasper in an interview with the Italian newspaper Avvenire on Wednesday.
The president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity said this experience shows that there are more positive elements than negative in this field. "From now on, we are in a new phase," Cardinal Kasper declared when asked about the results of the five days of meetings that brought together representatives of the major religions.
What issued from these days of reflection on the topic of the environment was a joint declaration that was then signed by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Pope John Paul.
"There has been so much written on the difficulties of ecumenical dialogue!" noted the cardinal. "For once, on the contrary, the news is positive: two sister Churches desire to walk together towards full unity."
However Kasper recognised that the dialogue with the Orthodox remains difficult still, in particular because of the refusal of the patriarchate of Moscow to enter into a dialogue with the Vatican.
"We continue not to understand this attitude," he said. "It is a shame that two religious leaders cannot meet, to give testimony of a will to reconciliation."
Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
14 Jun 2002