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    VATICAN REPRESENTATIVE SATISFIED WITH NEGOTIATIONS IN MOSCOW

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    MOSCOW, February 23, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Olga Lipich) -- In reply to a question of the RIA Novosti correspondent cardinal Walter Casper, chairman of the Pontifical Council for the Unity of Christians, stated that he was satisfied with the results of his negotiations with the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    On his way from Moscow the cardinal stated to journalists in the Sheremetyevo-2 airport: "I am satisfied with the visit's results. The dialogue is going on. We exchanged arguments on issues of mutual relations between our churches." The head of the Pontifical Council for the Unity of Christians pointed out that "we have common tasks to be resolved jointly, in particular, construction of a future united Europe." He stressed that they reached the agreement with the Moscow Patriarchy to establish a joint commission specially to resolve problems, which the two churches were facing at the moment (he was talking about the missionary activity of Catholics among Orthodox population of Russia and CIS states and expansion of Greek-Catholics in the Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan.) The cardinal indicated that "the parties also agreed on exchange of teachers and students of ecclesiastic higher educational institutions." In the course of the visit, which commenced on February 17th on the invitation of the Conference of Russia catholic episcopates cardinal Casper had meetings with Metropolitan Kirill, chairman of the External relations department of the Moscow Patriarchy and held negotiations with Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia.

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