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» 11/13/2013
RUSSIA - VATICAN
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
01/29/2009 VATICAN - RUSSIA
Pope: continuing dialogue with Russian Orthodox essential
03/20/2013 VATICAN - ORTHODOX
United against economic crisis and "worldly trends", Bartholomew and Francis to be in Jerusalem next year
by NAT da Polis
09/06/2010 RUSSIA
Russian bishops conference: We can only grow in collaboration with the Orthodox
01/28/2009 VATICAN - RUSSIA
Pope: joy over election of Kirill as patriarch of Moscow
11/26/2013 RUSSIA - VATICAN
Moscow Patriarchate calls for a "solution to international problems" after Putin-Pope meeting
by Nina Achmatova

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