Archbishop Antonio Mennini (1947- ), former papal nuncio to Russia, now papal nuncio to Britain…he’s one slick number; he’s probably going to England to pour oil on the waters after the dustup with the Anglicans over the new papal structure for Anglican disgrunts.
Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias expressed his appreciation to Catholic Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the papal nuncio to Russia, upon the ending of his tour of duty in Russia, for having facilitated improved relations between the MP and Catholics. “I would like to thank you for your work as a representative of the Holy See in Moscow, and to note your personal contributions in solving difficult problems in our mutual relations. By God’s grace, we can resolve these affairs in a positive manner, changing the climate of our bilateral relations for the better. Largely, this is due to your efforts as the authorised representative of the Holy See”, His Holiness told the Catholic nuncio in a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday.
For his part, Archbishop Mennini thanked the patriarch for his assistance in the working out of these questions. “I was pleased to work for the benefit of our churches, but this would have been much harder without your support, friendship, and Christian love. I will never forget you and the Russian Church, but, rather, I will keep on loving it”, Archbishop Mennini said, assuring Patriarch Kirill that he is ready to contribute to a joint witness to the world of Christian values.
As reported last month, Benedict XVI, the Pope of Rome, appointed Archbishop Mennini papal nuncio to Britain. John Paul II, the previous pope, appointed Monsignor Mennini to the post of papal nuncio in Russia in November 2002. Whilst here, he consistently stressed that Catholics should show respect for the traditions of the Orthodox Church. Archbishop Mennini repeatedly supported the MP’s social justice initiatives. Therefore, he welcomed the idea of introducing a chaplain corps into the Russian army and teaching Fundamentals of Orthodox Culture in the schools. He also disagreed with the reproaches directed at the MP accusing it of trying to impose “clericalisation” upon society. Russia and the Vatican upgraded their relations to a full embassy during the incumbency of Archbishop Mennini as papal nuncio.
26 January 2011
Here’s the Vatican’s take on the above story:
They’re virtually identical… I chose certain words and the Zenit translator chose others, but as they were synonyms, it was a wash. Translation is an art form… the point is to convey the meaning, after all. This was diplomatic “happy talk” over a pleasant lunch at the Chisty Pereulok residence… neither party said anything of substance. Both sides smiled at one another, shook hands, and parted amiably as decent people should. However… we’re still at Square One in Galicia over the Uniate conundrum, aren’t we?