Vatican Hails Work of Russian Catholic Weekly

Svet Evangelia Marking Its 10th Anniversary

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 4, 2004 ( The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications praised the «outstanding service» of Svet Evangelia on the 10th anniversary of the Russian Catholic weekly.

In a message addressed to Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Russia, and to Victor Khroul, editor of Svet Evangelia, Archbishop John Patrick Foley highlighted the potential of this type of publication.

«An excellent Catholic publication is able to fulfill a number of functions within the Catholic community and society at large,» Archbishop Foley said.

For the Catholic community it can «provide authentic religious information which is often not available elsewhere»; «help in the religious formation of readers»; «provide a source of religious inspiration»; «provide continuing education in the Catholic faith»; and «help to strengthen a sense of Catholic identity in an environment in which Catholics are a minority of the population,» the Vatican official said.

For the community at large, a local Catholic publication can «promote understanding among Christian Churches,» Archbishop Foley said.

It can «provide a dependable source of information for those interested in knowing what Catholics believe and what they do in the name of Jesus to help the poor, the handicapped, the young and the old»; «suggest ways of Christian cooperation in reaching out to those in need»; and «answer frequently asked questions about the Catholic Church,» he added.

In fact, in 2004 the International Catholic Union of the Press conferred on the publication the Titus Brandsma Award for its efforts to promote justice, peace, unity and dialogue among religions and Churches, after decades of state atheism.

The award also recognized the publication’s efforts to defend «human dignity through exemplary journalism,» the archbishop added.

«On the 10th anniversary of Svet Evangelia,» he added, «I am happy to assure you and the staff and readers of the newspaper of the prayers of our Holy Father Pope John Paul II, especially through the intercession of Our Lady of Kazan, whose sacred icon has recently returned to Russia, and of his apostolic blessing.»

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