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On 19 May 2010, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, currently in Rome with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, met with the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Walter Kasper, at the Council’s library in the Vatican.

Metropolitan Hilarion and Cardinal Kasper discussed the work of the Joint Commission for Orthodox-Catholic dialogue over a document on the role of the Bishop of Rome in the first millennium. Metropolitan Hilarion underscored that neither side should speed up the signing of the document: “Our task is to do a serious scholarly work to elucidate the understanding of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome in the 1st millennium. No one should fall into temptation to artificially apply ecclesiological patterns characteristic to the West to the life of the Eastern Church.”

The DECR Chairman repeated the many times expressed wish to organize a dialogue between the Orthodox and the Greek Catholics in Western Ukraine with the participation of representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and the Moscow Patriarchate. “Nowadays, a dialogue and the search for the ways to coexistence of the Orthodox and the Greek Catholics in the western regions of Ukraine should replace conflicts,” he said and added that the wounds inflicted on the Orthodox believers in Ukraine at the turn of the 1980s must be healed.

Attending the talk were the vice-president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Council the Revd. Milan Zust, DECR deputy chairman hegumen Philipp (Ryabykh), and acting DECR secretary for Inter-Christian relations priest Dimitry Sizonenko. Cardinal Kasper presented Metropolitan Hilarion with his books ‘The God of Christians” and “Jesus Christ.” Metropolitan Hilarion presented Cardinal Kasper with his book “The Mystery of Faith’ in the French language.