Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

President Medvedev will meet with Pope Benedict during his Working Visit to the Vatican

Filed under: diplomacy,Dmitri Medvedev,politics,Roman Catholic,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

The Entombment of Christ

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio


The Vatican Museums are going to loan this piece to Russia for exhibition during the Year of Italian Culture and Language in Russia.


President Dmitri Medvedev will make a working visit to the Vatican on 17 February; he will meet with Benedict XVI Ratzinger, the Pope of Rome, and Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone. Sergei Prikhodko, an aide to President Medvedev, said, “This is the first-ever visit by a Russian head of state to the Vatican after the establishment of full diplomatic relations between our countries”. Prikhodko said that Russia and the Vatican instituted full diplomatic relations in December 2009 after Medvedev decided to raise the status of the Russian diplomatic mission to the Vatican to that of a full embassy. Furthermore, Prikhodko said that Medvedev and Benedict would compare notes on foreign policy issues, discuss the architecture of European security, and  confer on what shape the cooperation between Russia and the Holy See would take within the framework of international organisations such as the UN, the Council of Europe, and the OSCE. “Russia and the Holy See have similar positions on many foreign policy issues based on the priority of moral principles in international legal and interstate relations”, Prikhodko said.

He thinks that Medvedev and the Pope may touch on the topic of interfaith dialogue. He didn’t rule out that the interaction between the MP and the Roman Curia could affect the tone of the meeting. Prikhodko pointed up that Benedict consistently “favours dialogue with the [MP] and recently made some generous gestures towards it”. In particular, he reminded us that the Russian state regained control of the St Nicholas Pilgrimage Centre in the Italian city of Bari. In his words, Benedict XVI “is open-minded towards dialogue between the two churches”. Prikhodko went on to note that an example of coordination between Russia and the Vatican on cultural, civilisational and moral issues was their joint work on the court case “Lautsi vs Italy”, in which Russia put itself forward as a third party supporting the Italian government in this suit. In turn, the Vatican has made this suit a very important part of its foreign policy. In this regard, the parties will discuss the situation in light of the decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights and its verdict in the case, said Prikhodko. According to information that Prikhodko released, the meeting at the Vatican will also focus on the interaction between educational institutions, cooperation in historical research, cooperation in humanitarian and social matters, and in cultural and artistic endeavours. Amongst other things, the pope and president will discuss initiatives in the cultural exchanges to be held during the Year of Russian Culture and Language in Italy and the Year of Italian Culture and Language in Russia. These activities will start the day before the Vatican visit, jointly opened by President Medvedev and President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy. The Vatican intends to send for exhibition in Moscow Caravaggio’s The Entombment of Christ from the collection of the Vatican Museums, as well as hosting a Russian exhibition, Faberge: Sacred Images, Interfax reported.

15 February 2011

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

Much of what this middle-level bureaucrat said is identical to what the “anonymous source” told the Reuters reporter… in short, an underling shooting off his mouth, nothing more. Asia News gets the soggy cardboard box, again, they’re hobbled by their preconceptions, ergo, their reportage on Russia is crank and suspect. There’s going to be a meeting of the pope and patriarch? Don’t hold your breath… it’s not only undignified, it’s funny as all hell to everyone around you. Pass the jug and wryly smile… it’s still the same ol’ fallen world out there. Prosit!



Underling at the MP DECR Supported Dialogue in Interstate Relations between Russia and the Vatican

Great Googly Moogly… the Pope n’ Patriarch are gonna meet… Asia News said so… would THEY lie to you?


On Monday, Fr Dmitri Sizinenko, the Acting Secretary for Inter-Christian Relations in the MP Department of External Church Relations, expressed support for the promotion of dialogue in the interstate relations between Russia and the Vatican. “The Russian Church encourages the development of harmonious international and inter-church relations, for just as one of the main concerns of the Church is the welfare of its flock, the state has a similar concern for its citizens, wherever they may be”, he told Interfax-Religion, commenting on the upcoming meeting between President Dmitri Medvedev and the Pope of Rome. As reported, Dmitri Anatolyevich will make an official visit to Italy on 16-17 February, during which he will visit the Vatican, to meet with Benedict XVI Ratzinger, the Pope of Rome. According to Fr Dmitri, the meeting of President Medvedev and the pope is a meeting of two heads of state. He noted that, in Russia, there is separation of Church and state, “and on questions of inter-church cooperation, today, MP officials today have fruitful talks directly with their partners in the Vatican”. However, he continued, the Church “has never been separate from the people, from society, the Church plays a very special role in the Russian life, it’s a spiritual and moral force that binds together the lives of millions of people in our homeland and abroad. The establishment of full diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the Holy See has given fresh impetus to the development of constructive relations between the MP and the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI pins special hopes on cooperation with the Orthodox Church, about which he earnestly spoke in an interview recorded in the book The Light of the World “.

He pointed out that in the face of such “tragic manifestations of modernity as the artificial imposition of an atheistic worldview, the destructive side-effects of globalisation, and the overall crisis in the sphere of social ethics, believers come to a deeper understanding of what is necessary to unite their efforts in upholding the fundamental values of Christianity”. In support of his thesis, Fr Dmitri mentioned the closeness of the positions consistently advocated by Patriarch Kirill and Pope Benedict, in their opposition to abortion, the legalisation of same-sex unions, euthanasia, and medical and biological experiments incompatible with Christian beliefs. He emphasised, “Today, of particular relevance, is the problem of religious and racial intolerance. In the face of terrorism and discrimination against Christians, we can’t help but form a partnership”. In his opinion, one of the best examples of such collaboration was the recent participation of the Russian government as an interested third party (amicus curiae) in a court case in Italy, where Soile Lautsi, a Finn resident in Italy, where the RF was one of ten countries that challenged a ban on crucifixes in Italian public schools. As Fr Dmitri noted, one can see remarkable results in the establishment of cooperation between Orthodox and Catholics in various European countries. “Quite often, to facilitate pastoral work amongst Russians resident abroad, representatives of the MP turned to Catholic bishops with requests for the facilities necessary for the establishment of parishes and community services. We are grateful for the fact that, as a rule, such requests find a positive response from Catholic bishops”, he added.

14 February 2011



Editor’s Note:

Most certainly, this milquetoast statement from a low-on-the-food-chain flunky shouldn’t have caused the flurry of news stories coming out of Catholic sources about a meeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill with the Pope of Rome… but it probably was part of the bubbling witch’s brew that led to the asinine Asia News post (the Blunder and his entourage were out of town, and this unfortunate and clueless peon was the only one left around the DECR hooch). There’s only one other statement made recently by any official… and that was by a rank-and-file aide to Medvedev… I’ll translate that, and all of you will see that the brouhaha over such a meeting is “much ado about nothing”… the Vatican press corps listens too much to pompous ignorant incompetents such as Sophia Kishkovsky… that’s life, though! It’s never been a just world, and there’s more than one knucklehead out there making a living on a “name” (Sophia’s pop is the infamous Lyonyo Kishkovsky of OCA fame… she got her job at the Herald Trib through the patronage of Serge Schmemann). Take a slug off the jug and smile! That’s what’s riles ‘em the most!


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Filed under: politics — 01varvara @ 00.00


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