Orthodox Church is not against the Pope's visit, but does not want this visit to become a protocol event merely "for cameras".
Pope John Paul II can visit Russia only after successful negotiations of the key positions between the two churches. The conditions were voiced in New York by Metropolitan Kyrill, the responsible of the external relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.
In the first place, the questions of Catholic churches and Catholic missionary activities in Orthodox countries have to be resolved. Vatican does not want to accept a point within the agreement which condemns missionary activities on the other confessions’ territories.
Metropolitan reminded that the second Vatican Council of 1964 accepted the Orthodox Church as a sister church, meaning “an entity where people are being saved". According to the Metropolitan, there is no need in creating Catholic churches in Orthodox countries in this case.
Metropolitan Kyrill underlined at the same time that Orthodox Church is not against the Pope’s visit, but does not want this visit to become a protocol event merely "for cameras".