Cardinal Kasper to visit Russia to learn more about Orthodox Church life

Walter Kasper, the head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, will visit Russia in late May. "It will be a private visit, which Cardinal Kasper himself has initiated to become better acquainted with the life of the Russian Orthodox Church and its spiritual reality," Priest Igor Vyzhanov, secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations (DECR), said in an interview with the Interfax-Religion website.

Cardinal Kasper is expected to meet with the head of the DECR Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, and, possibly, with Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia.

"We rejoice at other Christian Churches' interest in the life of our Church. We think this mutual demonstration of friendly interest and respect helps expand dialogue," Fr. Igor said.

Ante Jozic, the first secretary of the Vatican's mission in Russia, said that, "such visit have always been important for improving relations between our Churches."