Author Topic: Moscow patriarchy does not want John Paul II to come to Russia, Movie at 11.  (Read 1506 times)

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Offline Nigula Qian Zishi

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Published by,  May 19, 2003

May 19, 2003 ( -- The fact that Vatican returns to  Russia the copy of the Kazan Icon of Holy Lady dating back to the 18th century,  "is not a reason for John Paul II to come to Russia," reads the release of the  Moscow Patriarchy's foreign church relations department.
 It was released in response to the recent statement of the Vatican press  service's director Joaquin Navarro-Valls that the Pope could come to Russia to  return the copy of the icon.
 The icon is "one of the many that were used in liturgies and were illegally  smuggled from the country during the years of trouble," the patriarchy pointed  out. "Earlier such icons were returned to our country from abroad, but this  usually took place with the participation of customs and other law-enforcement  bodies of different countries, as well as of patrons of art who bought out the  stolen icons".
 The department's release underlines that "the attempts to connect the return of  the icon with the issue of the Pope's visit to Russia arouse astonishment, ever  more so as Vatican has not started negotiations on such a visit with the Russian  Orthodox Church".
 The possibility of a meeting between Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexei  II with the Pope "fully depends on Vatican's readiness to take steps towards  real settlement of problems between the two Churches," the document reads.
 The problems include catholic proselytism among people who belong to Orthodox  Church by baptism and cultural tradition, and the discrimination of the  canonical Orthodox Church believers in Western Ukraine.
 "However, the recent establishment of new catholic episcopates in Kazakhstan  testifies that Vatican's course aims at further aggravating the current  difficulties," the release emphasised.