Rome, Mar. 2, 2007 (AsiaNews) - A ranking prelate of the Russian Orthodox Church might accompany Russian President Vladimir Putin when he meets with Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) on March 13, the AsiaNews service reports.

In an interview with AsiaNews, the Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion of Vienna said that Metropolitan Kirill might be a member of Putin’s delegation on the visit to Rome. Metropolitan Kirill is the chief ecumenical-affairs officer for the Moscow patriarchate.

Preparations for the meeting between the Pope and President Putin have revived discussions about the prospects for a meeting between the Pontiff and Russian Patriarch Alexei II. In the past, Putin has said that he hopes to act as a catalyst for talks between Rome and Moscow.

In his AsiaNews interview Bishop Hilarion said that relations between the Holy See and the Moscow patriarchate have been improving steadily in recent months.


Teachings of Christ

“Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

“We firmly believe that the Church will never fall, will never waiver and will not be destroyed. For this is what Christ taught, by Whom the heavens were established and the earth was founded, and stands firmly as the Holy Spirit says”. (Ps. 32:6) The Antichrist will lure to himself “those who have a weak and feeble mind, will seduce and will tear them away from the living God.”

St. John of Damascus, Oration on the Transfiguration of the Lord