Pope Loved Russia in a Special Way, Says Prelate

Did We Notice? Asks Archbishop Kondrusiewicz of Moscow

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

MOSCOW, APRIL 15, 2005 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II is «the conscience of our time,» who gave back to the world its «lost hope,» said a Russian archbishop.

Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, spoke last week to members of his archdiocese about the «Slav Pope» who loved Russia «in a particular way.»

«How many gestures of good will he showed during his pontificate, signs of respect for our homeland, for the Russian Orthodox Church, and for the great Russian culture!» he said.

«And did we notice it? Have we known how to appreciate his significance and courage? Have we supported the pontificate’s insistence that Europe breathe with two lungs, that of the East and of the West? Have we used all the occasions the Pope tirelessly gave us in these more than 26 years?» the archbishop asked.

John Paul II, who consecrated the archbishop more than 15 years ago, met with the Russian prelate for the last time on March 8, an occasion in which the Pope asked him: «How is Moscow?»

The Pope left this question to Russia «as a testament,» said Archbishop Kondrusiewicz.

«May it be the crucial question of our examination of conscience!” he exhorted. «Let us constantly ask ourselves: How is Moscow? How does the archdiocese live? What can we do, all together and each for his part, to improve things? Do we live in accordance with the moral principles of the Gospel and the teachings of the Church?»

«The Golgotha of John Paul II’s last months of life were an illustrious example of fulfillment of the will of God, a model of how in weakness a titanic force of the spirit is manifested, capable of changing the world,» the prelate told the faithful. «His silent passing away in joy and in confidence in Mary was an incomparable sermon before the entire world.

«His illness and death united the world in prayer and solidarity. The Pope’s death became a type of Spiritual Exercises of unprecedented caliber and breadth. People wept and applauded. The tears of inconsolable loss have overflowed with signs of gratitude.»

«The devotion for John Paul II, which arose immediately after his death and spread impetuously throughout the world these days, highlights the true dimensions of the personality of the deceased and allows for hope in a speedy beginning of the process that leads to the recognition of his worth,» Archbishop Kondrusiewicz stated.

«The loss being grave, we contemplate it through the prism of the Resurrection, hoping that the deceased Pontiff will be great in the kingdom of heaven and will become our intercessor,» the prelate said.

He added: «Our holy duty is to pray to God, so that through the election of the College of Cardinals, the Holy Spirit will show who will be at the helm of Peter’s boat and lead the Roman Catholic Church in the future on the stormy waters of the beginning of the 21st century.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation