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» 03/14/2013
RUSSIA - VATICAN
"Humility and charisma," the Russian Orthodox Church welcomes the election of Pope Francis
by Nina Achmatova
The Moscow Patriarchate's department for external church relations calls for a continuation of the "positive momentum" in relations between Catholics and Orthodox. Some commentators, however, are less optimistic: Russia is not among the priorities of the new Pope, who will focus on the mission in the Third World. "Joy" among Catholics of the Federation.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Russian Orthodox Church has warmly welcomed the election of Card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis, and hope for a continuation of the policies of Pope Benedict XVI in the development of relations between Catholics and Orthodox. "The new Pope - said the head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, Archpriest Dimitry Sizonenko - is known for his conservative positions and his reign will be characterized by the strengthening of faith." "The fact that he took the name Francis - added Sizonenko, also secretary for inter-Christian relations - confirms his conception of evangelization primarily as a service to the poor, such as protection of their dignity." The priest called for a continuation of "positive" momentum of ecumenical dialogue even if he was keen to stress that so far Card. Bergoglio "has not been a directly active participant in the relations between Orthodox and Catholics" and as a result it is "difficult to make any predictions" about it. "In Argentina he was ordinary for the Catholics of the Eastern rite: this gives us hope that relations between Catholics and Orthodox will be further developed," he recalled. Sizonenko then called Pope Francis' asking for people to pray for him an act of "great charisma and humility".


For his  part, the proto-deacon Andrei Kuraev, professor at the Academy of Moscow and influential spiritual leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, wrote on his blog that, starting from the name chosen by the new Pope, he expects "a strong jolt to the Catholic Church, that will force them to convert to the Church of the poor ".

For the director of Radio Kommersant, Konstrantin Eggert, a Christian and influential commentator on Church affairs, "Russia will be far from the interests of the new Pope, which will focus on the mission in the Third World and his relations with Moscow will not be so important." However, he added, it cannot be excluded that he "will help to bring the two Churches closer together and facilitate the meeting of their leaders."

The reaction of the Catholic community in the Russian Federation was of "joy and emotion", as he the secretary of the local Bishops' Conference, Father Igor Kovalevsky told Interfax-Religion. "The first feeling is one of joy - he said - the choice of a Latin American for Pope is clear testimony to the universality of the Catholic Church, which is present in all continents and open to all cultures." Father Kovalevsky then commented as a positive factor that this is the first non-European pope and from the so-called New World. According to him, the Catholic community has high hopes for the new Pope to develop "dialogue between the Church and contemporary culture and the proclamation of the Gospel in the modern world."  

 


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See also
08/25/2004 RUSSIA - VATICAN
The Patriarch should be first to see the icon of Kazan, Vatican official told
04/16/2007 RUSSIA - VATICAN
Best wishes and “esteem” expressed by the Russian Orthodox Church for Pope
by Maria Anikina
12/05/2006 RUSSIA – VATICAN
Moscow Patriarchate: Pope’s Turkey trip “important”
05/14/2005 RUSSIA - VATICAN
Mgr Kondrusiewicz: an improved atmosphere with the Orthodox
11/13/2013 RUSSIA - VATICAN
Moscow Patriarchate and Vatican revive joint collaboration

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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