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President Vladimir Putin  «
Saturday, 10 March 2007
President Putin and Pope Bendict XVI to meet 13 March 2007
Topic: President Vladimir Putin

Upcoming meeting between Putin and Benedict XVI can help consolidate the position of Christianity in the world - Russian Church


Moscow, March 9, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate has pointed to the importance of the meeting to take place on March 13 between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pope Benedict XVI for consolidating the position of Christianity in the world.

‘I believe the meeting between the Russian president and the head of the Vatican to be important because at the time of globalization today the European and global communities are increasingly loosing their identities based on traditional norms of ethics and morality’, Bishop Mark of Yegoryevsk, vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, told to Interfax.

‘I believe President Putin can lend his support to the policy pursued by the Vatican in today’s ideological dialogue with Europe as it increasingly moves away from the Church’, the bishop noted.

Bishop Mark suggested that the Russian president and the Vatican head would hardly discuss problems involved directly in relations between the Russian Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches, such as a possible papal visit to Moscow, which had been discussed by Putin’s predecessors during their meetings with John Paul II.

‘We have notified the Vatican of all our concerns directly. We have a standing working commission and we have held bilateral meetings on various levels’, he said.

He found it difficult to answer the question if Putin, when in Italy, would discuss the transfer St. Nicholas’s in Bari, since pilgrims visiting Bari need a more noticeable presence of Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church there.

Posted by russian-heritage at 2:02 PM EST
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Sunday, 4 March 2007
President Putin to Attend to Ecumenical Matters
Topic: President Vladimir Putin

ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Code: ZE07030206

Date: 2007-03-02

President Putin to Attend to Ecumenical Matters

Will Ask For Keys to Orthodox Church in Bari

ROME, MARCH 2, 2007 ( Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Benedict XVI might help progress Vatican-Orthodox relations, says the director of Rome's Russian Ecumenical Center.

Putin will meet the Holy Father in the Vatican on March 13, confirmed Father Ciro Benedettini, vice director of the Vatican press office.

Father Sergio Mercanzin told ZENIT that an opportunity for the Church to advance relations with the Orthodox will happen on March 14, when Putin is scheduled to visit the southern Italian city of Bari.

The president will ask Bari's civil authorities, in the name of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate, to hand over possession of the Church of St. Nicholas, as well as the adjacent hospice.

The church and hospice were built in Bari by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1913. Throughout the second millennium Bari has been the object of pilgrimages for Russian Orthodox, who have great devotion to St. Nicholas.

The church was purchased by the city in 1937 in rather unclear circumstances. At present, the municipality has allowed the use of the church for Orthodox liturgical services.

Father Mercanzin said that Putin's request for the hospice will be more difficult. To succeed in his objective, he said, the president might request the Vatican's intercession before the Bari authorities.

The director of the center, dedicated to the promotion of Orthodox spirituality and art, added: "Relations between the Holy See and the patriarchate have taken good steps lately. The visit might promote them."

Posted by russian-heritage at 3:30 PM EST
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