07:52 GMT, Oct 05, 2006 Latest Headlines...

Alexy II expects CCEE Petersburg forum to build up cooperation
MOSCOW. Oct 5 (Interfax) - Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy
II hopes for strengthening cooperation between the Russian Orthodox
Church and the Vatican at the St. Petersburg assembly of the Council of
the Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE).
"I sincerely hope that this assembly of the Council of the Bishops'
Conferences of Europe will be another step in the development of
cooperation between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches in
the affirmation of Christian values, which are in high demand in the
modern world," says the Patriarch's greeting message to the assembly
delegates. The forum opened on October 4.
The Russian forum of authoritative Catholic hierarchs of Europe,
which is bound to discuss topical problems and make important decisions,
is a sign of confidence in Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church
"without which fruitful joint work is impossible," the Patriarch said.
It is symbolic that the assembly is being held in St. Petersburg,
"the city that has experienced the influence of many foreign cultures
and traditions but has always been a key center of the Russian Orthodox
faith," Alexy II said.
"I am confident that your visit to the Russian northern capital
city will be a perfect chance for closer acquaintance with the great
culture of Orthodox Church, which is an inseparable part of the European
cultural wealth," he said.
The small Russian Catholic community enjoys "sincere respect" of
the Russian Orthodox Church, which invariably stands for "open relations
of trust," the Orthodox Encyclopedia Research Center quoted from the
Patriarch's greetings.
"The variety of challenges to the Christian world displays the
closeness of the positions of our Churches, makes us recall common
roots, and encourages active cooperation," the greetings say.