Russia: meeting between Cardinal Poupard and Patriarch Alexis II

Source: FSSPX News


Cardinal Paul Poupard, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, on a visit to Moscow, spoke with the Orthodox patriarch, Alexis II on November 17. During their interview, the two men have manifested a great interest in the idea of a European encounter seeking to valorize the Christian roots of Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals” affirmed a communiqué from the Vatican.

Cardinal Poupard, accompanied by one of his collaborators, the French priest Bernard Ardura, did in fact, organize this trip to promote the recognition of the Christian roots of the European continent through a series of encounters with Russian cultural institutions. “The perspectives of a collaboration between the churches in the domain of culture, especially faced with secularization, indifference towards religion and the activity of the new religious movements”, was brought into consideration, the communiqué reports.

During the meeting at the Patriarchate of Moscow, the two delegations also brought up “questions which create difficulties between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church”, concluded the communiqué without going into the problems mentioned.

In the morning on November 19, Cardinal Poupard proceeded to the inauguration of the “Library of the Spirit”, “a Muscovite cultural center, where Catholics and Orthodox work in harmony to defend Christian thought”, in the presence of Metropolitan Philaret of Minsk, of the minister of culture of the Russian Federation, Alexander Solokov, of vice-mayor of Moscow, Michail Men, and the Catholic archbishop of Moscow Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz.

On this occasion, in a telegram read by Cardinal Poupard, the pope expressed his satisfaction for this initiative “destined to set into relief the great values of the Christian message”, and formulated the wish that this manifestation serve “to reinforce the common ecumenical commitment”. For his part, Patriarch Alexei II, in a letter addressed to the director, greeted “the opening of this new center”, expressing the desire that the collaboration between the Center and the Synodal Theological Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church finally develop.