Pezzi states that there is general agreement between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox on social and doctrinal issues, but concedes that papal primacy still remains an sticking point. According to the article:
“There remains the question of papal primacy,” Archbishop Pezzi acknowledged, “and this will be a concern at the next meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Commission. But to me, it doesn’t seem impossible to reach an agreement.”
The article goes on to state:
Relations have also been greatly helped by the election of Patriarch Kirill I earlier this year as leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is by far the largest of the national churches in the Orthodox Church. As the former head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external relations, Kirill met Benedict on several occasions before and after he became Pope, and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch is well acquainted with the Roman Curia and with Catholicism.
It should also be noted that Patriarch Kirill is a liturgical traditionalist in the Russian Orthodox Church. The current state of the western liturgy has often been a ready criticism leveled against Rome by Orthodox theologians and prelates.