Serb Orthodox Clerics to Visit Vatican
1 hour, 33 minutes ago
VATICAN CITY - Serbian Orthodox clerics will pay a six-day visit to
Vatican next week in efforts to improve Christian unity, the Holy
The delegation - including Metropolitan Amfilohije, bishops Irinej,
Lavrentije and others - will be at the Vatican from Monday to next
The Eastern and Western Christian churches drifted apart in 1054,
over a dispute on papal authority.
Relations between the Roman Catholic and the Serbian Orthodox
strained during more than five decades of communist rule in
grew worse under former President Slobodan Milosevic.
Pope John Paul II has made the improvement of relations a goal of
papacy. Papal envoy Cardinal Walter Kasper visited Serbia in May.
The Serbian delegation will meet with the pope on Thursday, and with
top Vatican officials throughout the trip.
The Serbian Orthodox Church released a statement Saturday, denying
accusations by hardliners that the visit to Vatican was a sign of
to the Holy See.
The purpose of going to Vatican is "an exchange of views, with
respect, about many issues about which we may even disagree," the
said, adding that "our delegation is certainly not going to Rome to
Most of Yugoslavia's 10 million people are Serbian Orthodox
the country also contains sizable Catholic and Muslim communities.