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12.05.05 07:27 Age: 7 yrs

Vatican official optimistic about church relations

Says stalled Catholic-Orthodox dialogue may soon be ‘restarted'

ATHENS, Greece (ENI)—A top Vatican official said on May 12 that formal dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches is about to be "restarted," and predicted that relations with the Russian Orthodox Church will improve under newly-elected Pope Benedict XVI.

"We definitely feel, I think on both sides, that we are at a point where we can build a much more positive relationship," Bishop Brian Farrell, the secretary of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said at a media conference during a World Council of Churches meeting here.

In his 26 years as pontiff, John Paul II visited 129 countries, including several predominantly Orthodox nations, but he died without reaching Russia. (...)