Vatican archbishop will meet Russian Orthodox leader in Moscow
A Vatican official will meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II next week in Moscow to discuss joint humanitarian projects, part of stepped-up Vatican efforts for closer relations with the Russian church.
Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, a German prelate in charge of the Vatican’s charity work, will visit Moscow and Novosibirsk in Siberia during the Oct. 15-21 trip, the Vatican said Wednesday.
Cordes is the second top Roman Catholic official to visit Russia in three months. In August, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray said his meeting with Alexy took place in a “brotherly climate.”
Tensions between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church have stood in the way of a meeting of the pope and Alexy.
The Russian church accuses Roman Catholics of improperly seeking converts in areas that traditionally would be Russian Orthodox, a charge the Vatican has rejected.