The following (http://catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=13116) was posted by the Catholic News Agency earlier today. It seems to me that relations between the Vatican and the Moscow Patriarchate have been warming of late. Part of the reason, as Archbishop Pezzi states, comes from Pope Benedict’s strong beliefs in tradition as well as his sincerity in which he affirms the Christian faith.
Archbishop Pezzi, however, has also stated that Pope Benedict may not wish to visit Russia without the explicit approval and invitation of the Russian Orthodox Church. This does make sense in light of the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church is the predominant faith and also to quell any protests that could result from a papal visit without approval.
There is also much said here about the circumstances which would allow a papal visit. It seems to me that Moscow and the Vatican must negotiate clear terms about the status of Catholic missionaries in Russia. This seems to be the main bone of contention between the two Churches because the Orthodox view Catholic missionary work as a hindrance to their work as well as threat to their flocks. It will be interesting to see how all of this works out, but this new is very good indeed.
Our Lady of Vladimir, Patroness of Russia, pray for us!
Sts. Cyril & Methodius, pray for us!
Sts. Olga & Vladimir, pray for us!