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» 09/06/2010
RUSSIA
Russian bishops conference: We can only grow in collaboration with the Orthodox
This is the assertion of Fr.Kovalevsky, Secretary General of the Russian bishops' conference. In an interview, he gives an overview of common positions with the Orthodox Church and the problems of the Catholic community in Moscow. Papal trip to Moscow and the number of parishes in the capital.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - "The Catholic community in Russia is a minority and must cooperate with the Orthodox only then we'll be able to develop to the utmost. So, let's say we are interested in strong Orthodoxy". These are the words of the Secretary General of the Conference of Russian Catholic Bishops Fr. Igor Kovalevsky, interviewed by the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper.

In the interview the priest stresses the similarities rather than the differences between the two Churches: "We have almost the same teachings on many issues" and "the only thing that divides us is basically the role of the Pope, the bishop of Rome." The two communities, continues Fr Kovalevsky, have the same values and should protect them facing the challenges of modern secularism. For the priest, Europe today needs a re-evangelization after having lost its Christian roots, "It 'a very serious problem, the greatest challenge from contemporary European culture is its anti-religiosity, a front on which Benedict XVI has always been committed. Catholics - he added - are also having to disprove the stereotype that links Catholicism to contemporary Western culture, which instead tends to keep God out of society.

On the age old question of a possible meeting between Pope and Patriarch of Moscow Kirill, Fr. Kovalevsky reiterates positions already expressed by the Russian Orthodox Church: "Neither Catholics nor Orthodox want the meeting to be mere protocol. And this is why, it is up to God to decide when this will be".

In the interview another age-old problem also emerges; that of a lack of parishes in Moscow. Today in Russia most Catholics are concentrated in the capital, where - the secretary of the Bishops' Conference points out- two churches and a third under construction "are too few." In Moscow and its environs, there are about 50 thousand faithful, but there are fewer churches than those in St. Petersburg. "It 's our main problem in the capital - he says - until the 1917 Revolution there was the church of St. Ludwig and the parish of Saints Peter and Paul in Moscow. The latter was confiscated and a new place of worship, the church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, was erected, which today is our cathedral. The church of Saints Peter and Paul, unfortunately, was privatized and the courts gave legitimacy to this act". The majority of Catholics are not Russian citizens, but Polish, German or Lithuanian and celebrations are all in Russian. (NA)


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See also
01/12/2012 RUSSIA
Only 1% of Orthodox actively involved in parish life
by Nina Achmatova
03/22/2012 UKRAINE - RUSSIA
Greek-catholic Patriarch: Orthodox connivance with Stalin undermines our relations
by Nina Achmatova
10/17/2011 RUSSIA
Thirteen new dioceses for the Russian Orthodox Church
by Nina Achmatova
05/10/2013 RUSSIA - CHINA
Patriarch Kirill starts China visit today
by Nina Achmatova
08/30/2012 RUSSIA - JAPAN
Patriarch Kirill in Japan for the centennial of Saint Nicholas' death

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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