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  • » 02/21/2011, 00.00

    RUSSIA

    Msgr. Jurkovic is the new apostolic nuncio in Russia

    Nina Achmatova

    The appointment two days after President Medvedev's visit to the Vatican. According to experts, a "formality" more useful to the Kremlin than the Vatican. The Russian leadership is in search of legitimacy.

    Moscow (AsiaNews) - Medvedev’s first visit to the Pope after the normalization of diplomatic relations has been widely reported in Russian media, rather than his political and economic meetings with the Italian government. The outcome of the visit to the Holy See was the appointment Saturday last of the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Russian Federation, Msgr. Ivan Jurkovic. But some experts diminish the significance of the meeting and explain: it was just a "formality", the Kremlin needed to legitimise itself in public opinion and is virtually useless in the development of relations between the two Churches.

    This is the opinion of Professor Anatoly Krasikov, director of the Centre for Religion and Society at the European Law Institute of. According to the academic - who attended the first visit by a Soviet leader to the Vatican, that of Nikolai Podgorny in 1967 with Paul VI - the Russian government "does not feel empowered enough and makes use of every opportunity to increase its prestige. The visit to the Pope was one of those. " "Our political leadership - he continues – does not feel sufficiently legitimised: the elections are a farce and the ruling party’s approval rating is falling." So on the domestic front, it clings to the Russian Orthodox Church: "The political authorities have the same positions of most of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, who are trying to turn a small party in their favour."

    Married to a fervent Christian Orthodox, the Russian president - who after three years in power is still trying to distance himself from his Prime Minister and predecessor, Putin – wants to present himself as someone who definitely will pave the way for relations between the Vatican and Russian Orthodox Church, becoming the architect for religious dialogue, which he has been focusing on a lot recently. "This is not possible - Krasikov states - because the Russian state still has no influence in the development of relations between the two Churches, not even under the Soviet Union, so much so that no leader of that time ever raised this question in a meeting with the Pope.

    It will now be the task of the new nuncio to continue a constructive dialogue with the Moscow Patriarchate, which was established also thanks to eight years of work of the previous Vatican, “ambassador “Msgr. Antonio Mennini. Efforts that will now be officially recognized by Russia: Dmitry Medvedev has announced his intention to award him the Order of Friendship medal for his contribution to the improvement of relations between Moscow and the Vatican. Fifty years of Slovenian origin, Msgr. Jurkovic has already worked in Moscow, between 1992 and 1996, in the Holy See’s office there, before being accredited as the first nuncio in Belarus, and Ukraine. He is expected to arrive soon in Moscow.

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    See also

    18/11/2006 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    Nuncio in Russia: dialogue with Orthodox a must

    At the closing of the plenary session of the Conference of Catholic Bishops, Mgr Mennini made a call for ecumenism, "fulfillment of Christ's will to unity among Christians".



    19/04/2006 RUSSIA – VATICAN
    High-level Vatican delegation in Moscow for religious summit, Catholics free, says nuncio
    In an interview with Russian-state news agency Interfax, Mgr Mennini, nuncio in Russia, talks about cooperation with the Orthodox Church. Catholics face no external obstructions in the country.

    26/08/2004 VATICAN - RUSSIA
    "The handover of the icon of Kazan is an historic event"

    Interview with Mgr. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, Catholic Archbishop of Moscow.



    30/05/2016 12:31:00 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    Msgr. Migliore, nuncio in Russia. The Moscow Patriarchate’s hopes for collaboration

    Orthodox secretary for inter-Christian relations: "One of the most expert diplomats, we hope to contribute to developing relations between the two Churches, now growing after the Patriarch and the Pope’s meeting in Cuba."



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




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