There are no serious problems between the Vatican and Russian govern ment
- 005.11.02 Kommersant: There are no serious problems between the Vatican
and Russian government"
There are no serious problems between the Vatican and Russian
// The head of Vatican Foreign Ministry told about the relationship
of churches and
In the end of the last week Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, head of the
Vatican Foreign Ministry, finished his working visit to Russia. This
was the first in history a Vatican Secretary visited Russia. Before
his departure GIOVANNI LAJOLO answered the questions of Kommersant
correspondent PAVEL KOROBOV.
--Does the relationship between the Vatican and Russian Orthodox
Church affect the relationship of Vatican and Russia?
--The relationship between the Vatican and Russian Orthodox Church
and between the Vatican and Russia are developing in parallel
courses: each has its own way, but they can't ignore each other, even
if they are in proper proportion. However, it is clear that in the
relationship between Vatican and Russian government it is impossible
to leave without attention to the present and the past of the Russian
people. The spiritual face of the people is defined by the presence
of the Russian Orthodox Church, which the Roman Catholic Church
considers and respects as the sister-church.
--During the negotiations with the representative of the Russian
government did you discuss any relationship between Vatican and
--The subject of my conversation with His Excellency Minister of
Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and Chairman of Duma Committee for
Foreign Relations Konstantin Kosachev was the relationship between
the Vatican and Russian government, as well as the possibility to
widen our cooperation on an international scale. We just mentioned
the problem in the relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church.
But, I had an impression that the Russian government is interested in
the development of further relations and they want these relations to
be trustful and understanding, brotherly and sincere.
--What major issues you were able to resolve with the representatives
of the Russian Foreign Ministry and what did not work out?
-- In The relationship between the Vatican and Russian government
there are no serious problems! My visit was an answer to the kind
invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, which
was presented to me during his visit to the Vatican in June. Our
communication never had a formal character. We discussed the
situation in different parts of the world and in different
international organizations in order to understand how to improve and
make our relationship more effective.
--Did you examine a possibility to reform the representative office
of the Vatican into the full scale embassy?
--It would be wrong to say "reform" in the context of relations
between the Vatican and the Russian government: from both sides these
relationships are considered diplomatic. I can witness, that both
sides are satisfied with their development. I would rather say about
some formal corrections that would allow avoiding in the future some
-- Did you discuss with the representatives of Russian Foreign
Ministry a possible visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Russia as the head
of the Vatican state?
--I am sure that the Holy Father would have a pleasure to visit the
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia as well as all other patriarchs of
Orthodox churches. His visit in Moscow would be received with joy by
bishops, priests and believers of the Russian Catholic Church
(Catholics of Latin Order, who are located on Russian territory -
Kommersant), who would be supported by the Christian Orthodox
brothers. From the other side, I have no doubts that Pope Benedict
XVI is always happy to receive in the Vatican His Holiness Patriarch
-- You had negotiations with the head of the Foreign Department of
the Russian Orthodox Church Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kalinigrad
Kirill. What problems did you discuss on this meeting?
--There is one significant question: we need to unite to comply with
the will of God and to grow in brotherly love. Jesus Christ said:
"You will be recognized as my disciples because of the love among
you." From my powers and powers of Metropolitan Kirill, we discussed
the possibility of closer cooperation, most of all in the frame of
European organizations, to help spread the Christian values --
especially the institution of the family, pastor's care for the youth
and defense of the human life from conception. I also like his idea
about cooperation in the publishing industry.
--Do the Vatican and Russia have any joint programs?
--So far, we are at the beginning stage of their discussions, but I
thought, that we have a promising future.
Russian Article as of Nov. 02, 2005
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2005.11.02 Interfax: Benedict XVI would be happy to welcome Alexy II in
02 November 2005, 11:23
Archbishop Lajolo: Benedict XVI would be happy to welcome Alexy II in
Moscow, November 2, Interfax - Pope of Rome Benedict XVI would be
happy to welcome Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia in
Vatican, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, Vatican's Secretary for
Relations with States believes.
'I do not doubt that Benedict XVI will be happy to welcome His
Holiness Patriarch Alexy II in Vatican', Laiolo said in his interview
to Kommersant daily published Wednesday.
The archbishop expressed is sure that the Pope 'would love to visit
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia as well as other patriarchs of the
Talking about his recent visit to Moscow and his meetings with state
officials, Lajolo noted: 'I am impressed by the Russian government's
interest in the development of relations (between Vatican and the
Russian Church - IF) so that these relations should be fraternal,
sincere and trustworthy, and open for mutual understanding and
Lajolo is optimistic about prospects for joint programs of Russia and
Vatican. 'My impression is that their future looks promising', the
archbishop said referring to his meetings with representatives of the
He further said that 'there are no serious problems in the relations
between the Holy See and the Russian government'.