Another Positive Sign of Roman/Orthodox Co-operation
The Holy Father said in his letter that "the gestures and words of renewed fraternity between the shepherds of the Lord's flock indicate that an increasingly more intense collaboration in truth and charity contribute to enhance the spirit of communion, which must guide the steps of all baptized" persons. "The contemporary world needs to hear voices," he said, "that point out the path of peace, of respect of all, of condemnation of all violence, of the superior dignity of every person and of his rights."
Patriarch Alexy II requested that Cardinal Etchegaray take a letter to the Holy Father, as well as a pectoral cross, like that worn by bishops, as a gesture of gratitude and esteem. In his message, the patriarch acknowledged that "in our time, in which secularism is developing rapidly, Christianity faces grave challenges that need a common testimony." The patriarch continued: "I am convinced that one of the main tasks for our Churches, which possess a common vision on numerous current problems of the contemporary world, must be today the defense and affirmation of Christian values in society. I hope that this will also contribute to the rapid solution of the problems that exist between the two Churches."