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Orthodox Church hopes for more meetings in Moscow and Rome after icon's return

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  • Fr. John-Brian
    From: JHForest Asia News: / 1 September, 2004 RUSSIA - VATICAN Orthodox Church hopes for more meetings in Moscow and Rome after icon s return Moscow (AsiaNews)
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2, 2004
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      From: JHForest

      Asia News: / 1 September, 2004

      RUSSIA - VATICAN

      Orthodox Church hopes for more meetings in Moscow and Rome after icon's
      return

      Moscow (AsiaNews) - "The return of the icon of Kazan is a happy
      event for us Orthodox," said Bishop Mark, Deputy President of the
      Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow
      Patriarchate. "We hope that other such events can take place in
      Moscow and Rome to underscore the positive nature of our
      relations and dispel any negative conjectures made in the press,"
      he added. Bishop Mark also said that a passage in the Patriarch's
      letter to the Pope states that good relations between the Russian
      Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church should lead both to
      "preach Christian values in a secular society".

      Another Orthodox leader, Fr John Lapidus, stressed the special
      significance of the Patriarch's letter to the Pope for future
      Orthodox-Catholic relations. He said that for the first time the
      Patriarch was confident in the Vatican's good will. "I believe,"
      Father Lapidus said, "that the decision by the Catholic Church to
      hand over the icon is proof of its sincere wish to overcome
      difficulties that exist between our two Churches, who are called
      upon to overcome the negative consequences of the 20th century."

      Against the wishes of the government of Tatarstan, Aleksij II,
      Patriarch of Moscow, decided last Saturday to keep the icon of
      Kazan in his private chapel. The Patriarch said that conditions in
      Kazan are such that the icon cannot yet be kept there in a dignified
      fashion.

      In Soviet times Bogoroditsky monastery, which previously housed
      the image, was used as a tobacco-processing plant. The
      monastery's church, which held the icon, now houses the National
      University of Education.

      Whilst Kazan's mayor has promised to return the buildings to the
      monastery, Patriarch Aleksij II said that until such time that the
      monastery and the church are not renovated the icon will remain in
      his private chapel. (AF)

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