24 August 2007, 13:40
Moscow, August 24, Interfax - The nuncio of the Holy See in Russia Archbishop Antonio Mennini sees no grounds to speak of clericalization of political and public life in Russia.
‘The Russian Orthodox Church as well as other religions in Russia regains her place in the Russian society. This happens after decades of atheism and repression when believers in their millions were denied much opportunity to come the spiritual fountains of the Gospel and the moral values the Good News brings,’ Mennini said in his interview to Interfax.
According to him, constitutional separation between church and state ‘ought not to exclude cooperation between the two for the purpose of moral, social and spiritual growth in today’s Russia.’
A few months ago, the nuncio noted, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, ‘who as person adheres to a secular worldview,’ urged to overcome the crisis in Italy forming ‘a real union’ between church and state. His proposal ‘raised no criticism even from the most devout proponents of secularism in state,’ he said.
Mennini quoted the liberal Italian philosopher Benedetto Croce, who, speaking of Italy, said that ‘we could not avoid calling ourselves Christians.’
‘I think his words symbolize accepting of the fact that Italy’s history, culture, and art and so on, owe their vary formation mainly to Christianity and Christian spiritual values. And it was the Roman Catholic Church that represented Christianity there throughout history,’ the nuncio said.
The same, according to Mennini, may be applied to the role of the Russian Orthodox Church ‘in relation to this great country’s history and culture as well as to the faith of most Russian people.’
See the full text of interview under the Exclusive heading.
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I like what is happening in Russia with the emergence of the Church to the forefront of this nation. I even like what the nuncio says in this article.
A quibble, howver. Italy, before it became predominantly Roman Catholic, was Orthodox as at one time there was no Faith save one that was the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic's Faith. This Faith is what today is held by the Orthodox Catholic Church around the world, the Undivided Church's Faith.
I pray such facts may not be forotten in our rush to sweep aside old grievances for the sake of just, well, doing so for the sake of unity. If it is not true unity, that unity which can only be attained through the One True Faith, then it is a sham destined to fall.
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