Orthodox Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus is offering his services as a mediator in an effort to set up a groundbreaking meeting between the Pope and the Russian Orthodox patriarch of Moscow Alexy II. This all comes out of an interview with Chrysostomos with L’Espresso.

This is very interesting stuff. It had long been a dream of Pope John Paul II but the Russian Patriarch showed little interest. It is difficult to know if this is any more than nice intentions of the Cypriot Archbishop, but Chrysostomos strikes a semi-optimistic tone in the interview according to the AP report:

Asked if the conditions were right for Benedict to meet with Russian Patriarch Alexy II, the archbishop was quoted as saying: “Every moment is a good moment because the aim is that of doing what is best for both churches. It’s clear that we’re not talking about organizing a meeting in 24 hours.”

The archbishop was asked if he had sounded out Alexy. “I am very close to him and I am a good friend of his. I think I can say that there aren’t even problems for him. When you have good intentions, obstacles can be surmounted.”

I won’t hold my breath that this will happen any time soon, but I pray for his success. Perhaps with efforts like this, the Church will one day breathe with both lungs again.