Pope and Russian Senate Leader Analyze Church-State Relations

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 28, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Church-state relations and the Iraqi war were on the agenda when John Paul II met with the president of the Senate of the Russian Federation.

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Following the papal audience today, Sergey Mironov met with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, according to Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls.

On several occasions, the Vatican has protested publicly the Russian Federation’s expulsion of Bishop Jerzy Mazur, of St. Joseph’s Diocese in Irkutsk, in eastern Siberia, as well as of at least five priests.

The expulsions followed the establishment of four Catholic dioceses in Russia in February 2002.

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