05/17/2006, 00.00
RUSSIA - VATICAN
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Bishop of Moscow: "Spring" reaches ties between Catholics and Orthodox

by Marta Allevato

Mgr Kondrusiewicz, in Rome with members of his community from Russia, talks about "good" prospects for dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Moscow Patriarchate after the Vienna conference.

Rome (AsiaNews) – "Spring" prevails in Moscow between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, said Mgr Thaddeus Kondrusiewicz, archbishop of the Mother of God in the Russian capital. AsiaNews met him in Rome, where he took part in a post-Synodal meeting on 15 May, and where 150 members of his community are undertaking the largest ever pilgrimage by Russian Catholics to the Vatican.

From 3 to 5 May, a conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture and by the Department for External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, took place in Vienna, entitled: "Giving Europe a soul. Churches' mission and responsibility." It was the first time that an organism of the Holy See organized an event of this kind with the Orthodox Patriarchate in Moscow.

Kondrusiewicz judged the positions taken by "both parties" on this occasion to be "positive and good". He said: "Vienna was very important because it brought out clearly the need and the duty to collaborate to tackle the challenges of the modern world: secularization, moral relativism, ever more aggressive liberalism. The Catholic Church talks about these matters, as does the Orthodox Church, but if we are united, our voice will become stronger." The archbishop said: "The patriarchate of Moscow takes much into account the intentions of Benedict XVI related to the defence of Christian values in Europe and the rest of the world."

He continued: "At the moment, I feel I may say that the ice age between our two Churches has given way to a lukewarm spring." And with a smile, he added: "It's not as hot as that in Rome, but for Moscow, it's not bad."

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