Patriarch Wants Pope To End Proselytizing


The head of the Russian Orthodox Church said Sunday that any meeting with Pope John Paul II should include an agreement to end what he called Roman Catholic proselytizing in his church’s territory.

Patriarch Alexy II noted during a news conference that the Orthodox Church had also confronted other churches seeking converts in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

The leaders of the two churches have not met in more than 900 years, since the so-called “Great Schism” in 1054, which divided Christians into the Catholic and Orthodox factions.

“We will continue preparing for a meeting between the heads of the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches,” Alexy told reporters Sunday during a visit to the Greek Embassy in Moscow.

“However, we consider it necessary that at this meeting, both sides condemn proselytizing,” he said.

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