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    » 03/12/2007, 00.00

    RUSSIA - VATICAN

    Putin-Pope, for the Moscow Patriarchate “only a state visit”



    Tomorrow the Russian President will make his first visit to Benedict; officials of the Russian Orthodox Church underline that it is “only a meeting between two heads of state”. However the Nuncio to the Russian Federation speaks of “ecumenical progress”.

    Moscow (AsiaNews) – Tomorrows meeting between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Pope will be “a meeting between heads of state and has no bearing whatsoever on relations between the Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Church”.  That is how the Moscow Patriarchate views the first meeting between Putin and Benedict XVI, whose pontificate has seen significant developments in relations between the two sister Churches.  This according to statements given Asianews by Fr Igor Vyzhanov – Secretary for Inter – Christian affairs of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchates department for external relations.

     

    Fr. Vyzhanov refers that “the delegation accompanying the President on his visit to the Vatican comprises politicians and diplomats” he further underlines: “During Putins trip to Italy there is no special envoy”. The Patriarchate official “supposes” that the two leaders will speak of “international questions, probably concerns ‘pertaining to dialogue between civilizations and the role of moral values in Europe and the world; as State representatives, one a State – Church, it’s clear that there discussions will have some impact on their respective nations, but we still cannot say what how”.  

     

    Vatican representatives in Russia, however have a different reading on the March 13th meeting.  In a recent interview with the Italian daily “Avvenire” Msgr. Antonio Mennini, nuncio to the Federation, declared that “the meeting between Benedict XVI and Putin is a significant event that cannot fail to have ecumenical repercussions”. “From this perspective it seems clear to me that the priority will be….. progress in dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox in which the Russian authorities are also interested”.

    For his part the Russian Orthodox bishop of Vienna Austria Hilarion (Alfeeev) recently spoke to Interfax news agency of “an encounter between two Christians, with elevated possibilities”. And speaking to AsiaNews, though reaffirming that it is “a state visit”, Hilarion did not exclude the presence of Metropolitan Kirill, on the presidential visit to Italy. Usually the President’s official trips, “above all if linked to religious or Church affairs”, include members of the Patriarchate, he said.

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    See also

    16/04/2007 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    Best wishes and “esteem” expressed by the Russian Orthodox Church for Pope
    In his message for t Benedict XVI’s 80th birthday, Patriarch Alexi II praises the pontiff’s defence of Christian values, “the solid base on which collaboration between the Russian Orthodox and Catholic Church can be built. Msgr. Kondrusiewicz underscores the Pope’s theological depth and the clarity of his positions, who is “seriously” committed to ecumenical dialogue. In Rome Catholics and Orthodox prayed “for the Pope and Christian unity”.

    13/03/2007 VATICAN - RUSSIA
    The Middle East and extremism, but also ecumenism, in talks between Putin and Pope
    A Vatican statement tells of a “very positive atmosphere” and “cordial relations”. Putin referred greetings from Alexi II, the Pope in turn sent his greetings to the Patriarch. Moscow Patriarchate sources tended to exclude that Benedict XVI and the Russian President would have touched on questions linked to relations between Catholics and Orthodox in Moscow.

    17/08/2004 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    Our Lady of Kazan: artefact of history and object of faith for the Russian people


    26/08/2004 VATICAN - RUSSIA
    "The handover of the icon of Kazan is an historic event"

    Interview with Mgr. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, Catholic Archbishop of Moscow.



    05/12/2006 RUSSIA – VATICAN
    Moscow Patriarchate: Pope’s Turkey trip “important”
    The Russian Orthodox Church augurs that the trip of Benedict XVI will contribute to “sincere dialogue” between Christians. He described as “correct” the intentions expressed in the joint declaration signed by the Pope and Bartholomew I.



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