Cardinal Kasper Meets With Ukrainian President Kuchma
During the meeting, President Kuchma emphasized the great importance of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ukraine in 2001 and stressed the significance of the Roman support of Ukraine’s European integration. In addition, the Ukrainian president pointed out that the Vatican and Ukraine have similar positions regarding the global processes going on in the world today. He also said that Ukraine is ready for active cooperation with the Vatican in cultural, educational and humanitarian spheres. President Kuchma stressed that the task of all churches is to promote peace and accord in the world and he, as the head of the Ukrainian state, calls for the creation of one national Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Cardinal Kasper thanked the president for the atmosphere of tolerance and religious freedom which reigns in Ukraine. He said that mutual recognition and accord between churches, including those in Ukraine, will facilitate the strengthening of peace in Europe and in the whole world. According to Cardinal Kasper, the church is for the economic development of Europe, which, however, needs to have a Christian soul.