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    » 11/13/2013, 00.00


    Moscow Patriarchate and Vatican revive joint collaboration

    Intensified exchanges between the leaders of the two churches, two weeks from Putin's expected visit to the Pope. Kirill meets Card. Scola: " Never before have we had so many things in common." The archbishop of Milan speaks of "ecumenism of the people". Metropolitan Hilarion meets Bergoglio: we are working on a meeting between Pope and Patriarch of Moscow, in neutral territory.

    Moscow (AsiaNews) - These are days of intensified exchanges between the leaders of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, who have both revived collaboration on issues of mutual interest such as the rights of Christians in the Middle East, the fight against secularism in the West and ecumenical dialogue. This two-weeks from to the much anticipated visit to theVatican by the Russian President , Vladimir Putin, whose policies in the Middle East , especially in Syria, go hand in hand with the battles promoted by the Orthodox Patriarchate and have found an unexpected ally in the Pope. Some claim that the event would contribute to a further rapprochement between the two sister Churches, which, however, deny there is a need for a " political mediation" in this sense .

    These were the words of theArchbishop of Milan, Card. Angelo Scola following his meeting with Kirill, 12 November , in Moscow. At the same meeting , the Patriarch expressed his appreciation for the work of Pope Francis , noting that " never before have our Churches had so many things in common." "Our historical disagreements cease to play a critical role", was the hope expressed by the Orthodox primate, to which Scola responded saying that ecumenical dialogue "has never hidden the differences, but it is able to overcome them by affirming our shared values," referring to an "ecumenism of the people" already tangible in exchanges between the two communities in the diocese as that of Milan .

    This environment of openness and friendliness is also enhanced by the words of the Head of External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate , Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Hilarion , who announced on December 12 that talks were underway about the possibility of a " meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow in a neutral country . " Speaking at a news conference after his meeting with the Pope, Hilarion added no more details. On the place and timing of the historic face to face there are only assumptions and rumors. The most reliable see the city of Bari, where there is a strong Orthodox presence as a possibility, but also Vienna or the abbey of Pannonhalma, Hungary. Ecclesiastical circles in Moscow indicate as a likely date 2014, marking the 50th anniversary of the historic 'embrace' in Jerusalem between Paul VI and the Patriarch of Constantinople, Athenagoras. An event which one year later , led to the joint statement erasing the mutual excommunications of nearly one thousand years before.

    Hilarion also did not want to comment on Putin's visit to the Vatican, scheduled for November 25 , but still not confirmed by the Kremlin. "This is a visit of the head of state , which does not affect the relations between the Churches", he noted. "We are very grateful to President Putin for the positions he takes on issues of European Christian heritage and values ​​and the defense of Christians in the Middle East - he concluded - a theme that will surely be discussed at the meeting ."

    Meanwhile, later this month the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, will travel to Moscow to speak at a conference organized by the Orthodox community . ( M.A. )


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    See also

    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.

    06/02/2016 10:44:00 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    Francis and Kirill, a Holy Alliance for the future of Christians and the world

    The meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow Kirill has been eagerly desired for quite some time. Expected under John Paul II; hoped for with Benedict XVI, it has taken time to realize. Catholics and Orthodox face the same challenges of persecution and relativism. Orthodox nationalism, backed by Putin, causes some reticence. The Middle East crisis and risk of Russia’s isolation fosters collaboration.

    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.


    17/02/2016 11:17:00 RUSSIA-VATICAN
    Something is moving: With prudence, something new sparked by meeting between Pope Francis and Kirill

    Despite many limitations, great sobriety and political compromises, the embrace is unprecedented. Although uniatism is considered outdated, the existence and mission of the Greek-Catholics is defended. Putin’s influence noticeable, but no blessing for a  "holy war". Reference to desire to "work together." The analysis of a leading figure from Orthodox Moscow.


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