Moscow Prelate: No Irreparable Problems

Points to Good Will Between Brothers

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By Carmen Villa

ROME, OCT. 23, 2008 ( The relationship between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox is very complex, acknowledged an archbishop from Moscow. But, he said, with good will, there is no problem “among brothers” that cannot be overcome.

Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow affirmed this Wednesday at a talk he gave in Rome. The conference was organized by the Catholic lay Communion and Liberation movement at the Pontifical Urbanian University.

Archbishop Pezzi, who has lived in Russia for 15 years, and was named archbishop there in 2007, emphasized the spiritual and cultural richness of Russia, but also noted the suffering the nation has endured over the course of history. This suffering, he said, notably influences the mentality and the behavior of the Russian people, both collectively and individually.

In this context, the prelate spoke of the ecumenical mission of the minority Catholic population in the country.

“It cannot be denied that the relationship between the Catholic Church and the most numerous of the Orthodox Churches today continues to be very complex,” he said. But, “with good will, irreparable problems between brothers do not exist.”

“It is this that can help us to later understand better the word ‘ecumenism’ in the value given it by the Gospel and the magisterium of the Church,” Archbishop Pezzi added.

The Italian-born prelate emphasized that every experience and charism in the Church can enrich it, making it shine as the true Mystical Body, even if there will always be “division and sin” within it.

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