Difficult rapprochement between the Vatican and the patriarchate of Moscow

Source: FSSPX News


On his return from Moscow, Mgr. Giovanni Lajolo, secretary of the Holy See for Relations with States, spoke to Vatican Radio on November 8. Asked about his meeting with Metropolitan Kirill, head of the Department of External Affairs of the Patriarchate of Moscow, Mgr. Lajolo said : I am convinced “that the patriarch wants, as does the Holy See, reciprocal relations that are ever more fraternal, open, and confident”. “There are objective mutual difficulties which require a more thorough study”, he added. The instrument of the joint Commission, instituted some time ago for the examination of differences, should be used with constancy and periodic regularity, without becoming discouraged by occasional difficulties”, which are “inevitable”. “This is bound to bear fruit”, said the Roman diplomat.

 Mgr. Lajolo added that “the Russian Catholics were waiting for the pope”, considering that “his visit would be a great encouragement for them”. But this “will only happen in an ecumenical context”, he specified. “At present, relations are marked by the presence in Moscow and Rome of two missions of a special character, at the head of which there are respectively, a papal nuncio and an ambassador” who are “already doing an excellent job”, he explained.

 Finally, Mgr. Lajolo invited “the large Catholic communities of other countries” to support the Catholic Church in Russia. As a minority group, the Russian Catholics lack priests and are confronted with difficult situations with the Orthodox.