A senior Ukrainian cardinal said Monday there was little dividing the Catholic and Orthodox Christian faiths and suggested that the pope call a meeting of the world's bishops to discuss the Eastern rite within the Catholic Church.
Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, head of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine, made the suggestion in a speech to a three-week meeting of the world's bishops that is designed to give the pope recommendations on running the church.
Eastern rite Catholic churches share many Orthodox rituals but are loyal to the pope, the AP reports.
The Catholic and Orthodox churches split in 1054 over several questions, including the issue of the primacy of the pope. Relations now between the two sides have been made tense by Orthodox charges of aggressive Catholic missionary work in Eastern Europe and by property disputes. Pope Benedict XVI has made unifying all Christians a fundamental priority of his pontificate, and he invited a record number of ecumenical representatives to take part in the Oct. 2-23 meeting, known as a synod, including one from the Russian Orthodox Church. A.M.