Neocatechumate Clarifies Meeting With Orthodox

"We Agreed With Patriarchate to Continue In-depth Dialogue"

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MOSCOW, OCT. 30, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a press release from the Neocatechumenal Way clarifiying the details of a meeting between Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, and the initiators of the Neocatechumenate.



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On Oct. 19 took place a meeting between Kirill, metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, president of the Department of Foreign Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow, and the initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way, Kiko Argüello and Carmen Hernández, accompanied by Father Mario Pezzi.

Kiko Argüello explained to the Metropolitan the origins and development of the Neocatechumenal Way following the Second Vatican Council's rediscovery of Christian initiation and the Catechumenate for adults.

Kiko also said that there is no intention of proselytism towards the Orthodox faithful, but rather to offer this itinerary of faith formation as a service inside of the Russian Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Kirill "pointed to the need of a greater in-depth look to the respective spiritual traditions, so as to see whether the ideas of modern religious movements correspond to the theological tradition of the Orthodox Church."

Metropolitan Kirill asked Reverend Igor Vyzhanov, secretary of interreligious relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, to continue this dialogue with the purpose of deepening the understanding.

Should this first stage develop in a positive manner, the second stage would be to examine the possibilities for proceeding with the necessary adaptations within the frame of the ecumenical dialogue so desired by both John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

"The meeting with Metropolitan Kirill was very cordial and positive," explained Kiko Argüello. "We agreed to begin a series of contacts which, hoping in the Providence of God, may be of benefit to the great task of the New Evangelization also within the Orthodox Church."

Kiko added: "We regret that some misunderstandings may have arisen following media reports regarding the meeting; we are in full agreement with the communiqué of the Patriarchate of Moscow which states that we have not arrived at a final agreement. We had a very positive meeting and we agreed with the patriarchate to continue this in-depth dialogue."

Walter Cardinal Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, was informed beforehand by the initiators of the Way of this meeting.