From Catholic World News : Eastern Catholics should pursue ties with Orthodox, Pope says:
"Pope John Paul II (bio - news) has encouraged Eastern-rite Catholics to pursue their contacts with their Orthodox counterparts, saying that their 'common liturgical tradition' could furnish the basis for greater ecumenical progress.
The Pope made his remarks in an address to participants at an interparchal synod of Italy's Eastern Catholic communities. He told them that their faithful could profit greatly from a 'solid formation rooted in the Oriental tradition,' adding that the Byzantine perspective could also provide 'an effective manner to the growing challenges of secularization. Pope John Paul has frequently encouraged the growth of the Eastern Catholic churches, and urged Byzantine Catholics to protect their distinctive spirituality and liturgy. The intereparchal synod was set up to serve the two small Byzantine Catholic communities of Italy: the Italo-Byzantine community centered around the monastery of Grottafera, and the Italo-Albanian Church. Pope John Paul remarked that cooperation between the two is fruitful because they are 'heirs of a common spiritual patrimony.' "