Russian Orthodox leader invites pope to resume contact
MOSCOW. Dec 22 (Interfax) - The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexy II, has sent Christmas greetings to Pope John Paul II, inviting the Roman Catholic leader to "resume our brotherly contacts."
"With a sense of brotherly love in Christ, we send you cordial greetings on occasion of the joyful and world-saving holiday of the advent of the Lord and our Savior into the world," Alexy said in a message made available to Interfax.
"Illuminated by the gracious rays of the light of Christ:let us resume our brotherly contacts and send joyful praise to the newborn Divine Child, who has come to earth for our sake:"
Alexy promised that he would make special prayers at Christmas for God to grant the pope "a life of peace and numerous gifts during the entire New Saving Year."
Alexy also sent Christmas messages to the heads of Orthodox churches that follow the Gregorian calendar unlike the Russian, Jerusalem, Serbian, and Georgian churches and monasteries on Mt. Athos, Greece, which stick to Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar.
The Orthodox churches of Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt have been following the Gregorian calendar since the 1920s after the Constantonople Patriarchate.