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    » 09/13/2010, 00.00

    RUSSIA

    The Russian Orthodox Church calls for same legal status as Catholics in Ireland

    Nina Achmatova

    Patriarch Kirill spoke at a meeting in Moscow with Irish President McAleese. Orthodox parishes in Ireland are registered as “charitable organisations". The request in line with the Orthodox Patriarchate policy of strengthening its presence abroad.

    Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Moscow Patriarchate has asked Dublin to change the status of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ireland and make it similar to that of Catholics, no longer as a "charitable organization", but a Church in every respect. The request, which affects 1,500 people, was made on 8 September during a meeting in Moscow between Irish President Mary McAleese and Patriarch Kirill. It was the first state visit to the Russian Federation for McAleese.

    "His Holiness raised the issue of granting the Russian Orthodox Church a similar status to that of the Catholic Church in Ireland. This is a very important goal," stated Fr. Georgy Zavershinsky, head of communications for External Relations Department of the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. The priest explained that tRussian Orthodox parishes in many Western countries are registered as charitable communities, similar to other small communities or sects. Besides Ireland, this is also the case in Britain.

    Patriarch Kirill spoke of the situation of Orthodox parishes in Ireland: "In general, in the twentieth century there were several waves of emigration from the Soviet Union, and the people established themselves in Western countries, including Ireland. When I talk of these people, I refer not only to citizens of the Russian Federation, but also to the Moscow Patriarchate and the Church of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. Taken together, many of them now live in Ireland where we have five parishes, and some are very active (eg, Dublin).

    The president promised to start bilateral consultations between ministers to discuss the issue and if necessary between the premier of the two countries. Today the Russian Orthodox Church in Ireland has about 1500 faithful, out of a total population of 4,150,000 inhabitants.

    The words of Kirill confirm the policy initiated by the successor of Alexius II towards a strong promotion and strengthening of the presence of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad, from China to the Caribbean, throughout south-east Asia and Europe. Of note, however, that in Russia the Catholic Church is not recognized among the four official religions (Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist) which enjoy a privileged status.

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    See also

    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.



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


    28/03/2008 RUSSIA
    Moscow Patriarchate to “monitor” Catholic orphanages
    The decision comes at the end of a meeting by a joint working group on problems between the two Churches. The Patriarchate wants to keep an eye on Orthodox children who live in Catholic institutions. This however has been the rule for years. Once again silence prevails on other, more important issues.

    14/05/2013 RUSSIA - CHINA
    Patriarch Kirill calls for recognition of Orthodox Church in China, but is silent on religious freedom
    In Russia, commentators and analysts ponder the meaning of the Orthodox leader’s mission to the People's Republic. For some it is one step in the Kremlin's foreign policy, which aims to strengthen a renewed geopolitical alliance with China. For others, the goal is only pastoral: the Orthodox Church needs restructuring.

    31/05/2006 RUSSIA - CHINA
    Orthodox Church for Chinese built in Russia

    The church was supposed to be built within the Russian embassy. But bureaucratic delays led to a decision to change the site.





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