22 March 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  •    - Mongolia
  •    - Russia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 10/08/2015, 00.00


    The Russian edition Laudato sì encyclical, opportunity for ecumenical dialogue in Moscow

    Marta Allevato

    Translation presented at Spirit Library Cultural Centre, in the presence of the Vatican nuncio. The event focused on the dialogue between Father Igor Kovalevsky, secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference and the Russian Orthodox theologian Fr. Vladimir Shmalij.

    Moscow (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, "Laudato sì”, is an opportunity for ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox in Russia, where the theme of the environment is still culturally unpopular in society.

    With this aim, on October 6 in Moscow, the Russian edition of  the ' ecological encyclical ", was published by Franciscan Publishing House. The event was held at the Spirit Library, directed by Jean-Francois Thiry, with the participation of the Apostolic Nuncio in Russia, Msgr. Ivan Jurkovich, who stressed the importance of admitting the fact that ecology "cannot be treated seriously, when separated  from its spiritual dimension."

    The event focused on the dialogue between Father Igor Kovalevsky, secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference and the Russian Orthodox theologian Father Vladimir Shmalij, who expressed appreciation but also concerns about the Papal document. Fr. Kovalevsky stated that with this encyclical Bergoglio confirms himself as the "Pope of dialogue".

    "There is a universal message, addressed to all, beyond religion," he explained to the audience in the hall. This is why the document can become opportunity to reflect on what is the common task of Christians to meet the challenges of the modern world, which can be answered also by the rediscovery of the meaning of the smallest gesture.

    Kovalevsky explained that with his message, "that is not intended as a scientific text," the Pope "does not give ready answers, instead he tries to awaken society to dialogue on how we want to build the future of our planet."

    A clear understanding of the term "ecology" is central to this "from the frequent association with something extremely liberal or anti-human, which holds that all the harm results from man." "The Church very clearly shows us our responsibility: man is the master of Creation - Kovalevsky said, quoting the Bible - and this creation is his responsibility”.

    But man’s place over other living beings is one aspect of Laudato sì that has less convinced the Orthodox theologian, who nevertheless acknowledged that "we cannot ignore the ecumenical aspect" of the document, he called "revolutionary" compared to previous encyclicals as it also quotes non -Catholic sources, such as Patriarch Bartholomew.

    Shmalij appreciated the Russian translation of the document, but said he did not share the "critique of anthropocentrism 'and' 'contemporary humanism" which he said is contained within. "What will be the center of society if it is no longer the man?" He asked, turning to the public. While referring to the body of oriental theological works, which speaks of creation in terms of the brother / sister of the human being, Father Shmalij pointed out that "the main drama of faith is contained in the relationship of  'God-man' and 'man -man'. Nature is secondary. "

    While the nuncio, opening the meeting, said he hoped that  with Francis’ appeal to politicians, scientists and men of good will, "something serious will begin", Father Shmalij said he was skeptical that international institutions follow the pontiff’s  'approach.

    Either way,  he recognized the "courage" of the Pope and "the urgency of his moral appeal to politicians to go against the logic of the political process for meaningful change in the world." "Now we just have to read the encyclical and then figure out how and if it can change our relationship with the world," said Thiry.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    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.

    17/08/2004 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    Icon of Our Lady of Kazan: Russian Patriarch minimises papal gift

    18/07/2006 RUSSIA – VATICAN
    Synod of Orthodox Church in favour of continued dialogue with the Vatican
    Participants single out human rights, life, family and bioethics as key issues to discuss; they also express satisfaction for talks between Kirill and Benedict XVI.

    14/12/2013 VATICAN - RUSSIA
    Card. Koch visits Patriarchate of Moscow
    The President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity will also meet with the Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill . In St. Petersburg’s Academy of Theology, the Cardinal addresses conference on the progress of the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue.

    29/01/2009 VATICAN - RUSSIA
    Pope: continuing dialogue with Russian Orthodox essential
    Receiving the bishops of Russia, Benedict XVI renews his good wishes for Kirill. In spite of the difficulties, the encounters must move forward, because it is important for Christians to face together the serious cultural and ethical challenges of the present time, like the dignity of the person and defense of life and of the family.

    Editor's choices

    Putin's victory seen from West and East

    Xi Jinping sent a highly congratulatory message. Japan and Germany issued polite words. The Observatory for Security and Cooperation in Europe criticised restrictions on fundamental freedoms. Tensions with Britain remain over the ex-spy poisoning. For Chinese scholar, as the West continues to attack Russia and China, the two will move closer.

    NPC: silence on constitutional amendment, scripted media coverage

    John Ai

    Spokespeople provide scripted answers to scripted questions. Various “foreign” media are funded by China as propaganda tools. The end of term limits for Xi Jinping is the will of the people even though the people did not know about it.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®