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  • » 03/14/2013, 00.00

    RUSSIA - VATICAN

    "Humility and charisma," the Russian Orthodox Church welcomes the election of Pope Francis

    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

    01/03/2016 11:00:00 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    "Heretic and traitor": Fundamentalists term Orthodox Patriarch Kirill who met with Pope Francis in Cuba

    The meeting took place 10 thousand kilometers distance from Moscow, perhaps to avoid the objections of the traditionalists. Kirill accused of being "nikodimico", too ecumenical. An "appeal to the Orthodox youth" claims that orthodoxy is being "sold out”  to the Pope of Rome. Others say that Pope Francis is about to "convert" to Russian Orthodoxy. Urgent need for information and education.

     



    22/02/2016 10:44:00 RUSSIA-VATICAN
    Francis and Kirill: After Cuba, time for concrete steps

    The embrace between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow shows  desire for common witness. Strong resistance from conservative orthodox who accuse the "patriarch of heresy." Mediation on “uniate” issue. Deepening of theological dialogue and collaboration on "joint projects”. Call for more regular meetings between Rome and Moscow.

     



    06/02/2016 10:21:00 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    Moscow and Rome: A history of clashes and dialogue

    Good relations until the fifteenth century. The Council of Florence, the Union of Brest and the birth of the Catholic Churches of the Eastern rite. The anti-Christian persecution of the Soviet Union and the conflict between Catholics and Orthodox in Ukraine. The Catholic mission in Russia.



    25/08/2004 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    The Patriarch should be first to see the icon of Kazan, Vatican official told


    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”.



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