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» 04/16/2007
RUSSIA - VATICAN
Best wishes and “esteem” expressed by the Russian Orthodox Church for Pope
by Maria Anikina
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”.

Moscow (AsiaNews) – The Pope’s “courage” and dedication in denouncing the evil of our times, by inviting all Christians to be true witnesses of Christ, our salvation is just one of the aspects of Benedict XVI’s pontificate which Russian Catholics and Orthodox both underlined in their birthday greetings to the Pontiff. 

Patriarch Alexi II of Moscow and All Russia greeted Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of his 80th birthday and wished him good health, many years of life, and God’s help in his spiritual ministry.   “I express my special admiration – writes the Patriarch - of your life that has wholly been dedicated to the church ministry, and which has brought you to the head of the Roman Catholic Church”. Alexi II defines the Pontiff “a famous theologian fully dedicated to defending and affirming of traditional Christian values”, in modern society. “It should become a solid basis for good relations and mutually beneficial cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church,” concludes the Patriarch.

In expressing his wishes to the Pope Fr. Igor Vyzhanov, secretary for Christian affaire at the Moscow Patriarchate, reiterated the “esteem” in which Benedict XVI is held in the Orthodox Church, as well as the appreciation for his dedication to the progress of ecumenism.  Catholic and Russian Orthodox faithful gathered to pray today “for the Pope and Christian unity” along with religious representatives from the two communities at the catacombs of St Pancreas. 

Msgr. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, catholic archbishop of the Mother of God Cathedral Moscow, confirms the “Pope’s sincere desire to dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian society as a whole”.  In his birthday greeting to Benedict XVI, he underlines the Popes “theological depth” and expresses his appreciation of the Pope’s “clear position regarding the delicate themes of today’s world”.  “At the centre of his theology – he continues - there is Christ as the only Savoir of the human being to whom man has always to appeal. On the base of His teaching we have to create the future of Europe overfull with secularism, moral relativism and denying of the Christian roots”.

 


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See also
03/12/2007 RUSSIA - VATICAN
Putin-Pope, for the Moscow Patriarchate “only a state visit”
03/13/2007 VATICAN - RUSSIA
The Middle East and extremism, but also ecumenism, in talks between Putin and Pope
08/17/2004 RUSSIA - VATICAN
Our Lady of Kazan: artefact of history and object of faith for the Russian people
01/29/2009 VATICAN - RUSSIA
Pope: continuing dialogue with Russian Orthodox essential
01/28/2009 VATICAN - RUSSIA
Pope: joy over election of Kirill as patriarch of Moscow

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
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pp. 176
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pp. 240
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