Speaking about the relations between Catholic and Orthodox believers, Metropolitan Pavel noted that joint services even during big feasts such as Easter (Catholics and Orthodox Christians celebrate this holiday on the same day this year) is still impossible. “There are commissions that work out a system or a scheme of possible communication of the kind. But it is still too early to talk about joint services in the church,” Metropolitan Pavel said.
In his words, today other formats of communication exist today and it is very important that Catholic and Orthodox believers do not have conflicts. “It is important to find areas of common interest where the parties are able to create. This year Minsk will host an important international event – the Orthodox-Catholic forum which is due on 2-6 June. We will discuss spiritual and moral issues which are of interest for both Orthodox and Catholic representatives. We will talk on the themes which unite us,” the Metropolitan said.
Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus is in Vitebsk on a three-day visit. On 6 April he held a service in the Church of the Holy Dormition, visited the oblast local history museum, the Church of the resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit Convent, the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos and held a vigil at the Cathedral of the patronage of the Mother of God. On 7 April apart from the divine service at the Church of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary Metropolitan Pavel met with the Vitebsk Governor and visited the Repin Museum-Estate Zdravnevo. On 8 April Metropolitan Pavel will visit the Masherov Vitebsk State University, meet the clergy, talk to students and professors of the seminary.