This is yet another visit of Cardinal Walter Kasper to the Russian
capital. He traveled there last August to return to Patriarch Alexy
II, on behalf of Pope John Paul II, the icon of the Mother of God of
Kazan, an image venerated by the Russian Orthodox.
Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls published a note today
explaining that Cardinal Kasper's visit to Moscow seeks "to continue
the dialogue with the Orthodox Patriarchate initiated on the occasion
of the solemn inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI's pontificate." The
visit ends Thursday.
On May 25, during the Italian National Eucharistic Congress held in
Bari, Cardinal Kasper proposed to Eastern Christians, the majority of
whom are Orthodox, a synod of "reconciliation" with Western
Christians, in that same southern Italian city.
A historic synod of Eastern and Western bishops was held in Bari in
"Why not hope that here, in Bari, 1,000 years after the synod of
1098, in 2098 -- and why not before -- we might again hold a synod of
Greek and Latin Bishops, a synod of reconciliation?" asked the cardinal.
The proposal was heard by Archbishop Kirill of Jaroslavl and Rostov,
the delegate of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate to the Eucharistic