Moscow (AsiaNews) - "Every encounter brings hope, but this one with Russia has been a confirmation”. Thus did Mgr Giovanni Lajolo, Vatican Secretary for Relations with other States, sum up his first visit to Russia. He was speaking to AsiaNews at the end of a four-day visit to Moscow, where he went on the invitation of the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergei Lavrov. The pope’s “foreign affairs minister” described as “positive” meetings held with civil and Orthodox authorities. One meeting which stands out is that in Danilovskij monastery with Metropolitan Kirill, president of the external relations department of the Moscow Patriarchate. Already on the eve of his visit, Mgr Lajolo had talked about improving ties with the Moscow Patriarchate “even in view of bearing a needed shared witness to all Christians, in today’s world, about evangelistic values”.
Read the complete article Mgr Lajolo’s Moscow visit instills high hopes for Russia’s Catholic Church from AsiaNews.it.
The rest of the article describes Monsignor Lajolo's homily and comments on the Eucharist and the Eucharistic Congress in Moscow.
As far as the success of Lajolo's mission, only time will tell. The next time the Russian Orthodox Church speaks out on the Catholic issue in Russia will be a good indicator.
One thing that doesn't get near enough press is the relationship between the Holy See and the Russian Federation. I'm surprised that in his special way, President Putin doesn't put more pressure on the Patriarch of Moscow to bury the hatchet with the Holy See in order to get the Pope to Russia. The Pope in the Kremlin would certainly be an amazing photo op and a feather in the cap of Mr. Putin.