Vatican-Russia: A new apostolic nuncio for a stalemate situation

Source: FSSPX News


The new apostolic nuncio for Russia, Mgr. Antonio Mennini, arrived in Moscow on 11th January. The representative of the Holy See takes up his post as the crisis between the Vatican and the Patriarchate of Moscow continues.

His arrival in Moscow coincides with the Pope’s mention of the Vatican-Moscow crisis made on Monday when receving the diplomatic corps accredited to the Vatican. John Paul II has asked the Russian president to “respect his international commitments” concerning religious freedom, so that the four Catholic priests and the bishop, Mgr. Jerzy Mazur, who are not able to return to Russia to exercise their priestly function, may have their visas renewed.

The Orthodox reaction was not late in coming. According to the Russian news agency Interfax, Fr. Vsevolod Tchaplin, second in command at the Department for Foreign Relations of the patriarchate, judged the Pope’s remarks “surprising”. Moreover he considered that the Vatican “seeks to give the impression that there is a total persecution of Catholics in Russia, on the basis of isolated cases of visas being refused, a prerogative that all countries have the right to exercise.”