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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
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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