Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vatican seeks return of church property from Russia

16:31 22/ 10/ 2007

MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian senator and two high-ranking Catholic priests discussed on Monday the return of assets belonging to the Catholic Church, which were seized by the Soviet Union.

The talks involved Paul Joseph Cordes, the head of the Pontifical Council, Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, the Catholic Archbishop of Moscow, and Alexander Torshin, deputy speaker of the upper house of parliament.

"The possibility of returning the Catholic Church's assets, confiscated by the Soviet government was discussed," Torshin said, adding that Russia had already agreed to return a former Catholic bell tower from Tula, and property in Moscow and a number of Siberian cities was currently under discussion.

A source close to Torshin said the senator was "acting as a mediator between local authorities."

The source said the property to be returned to the Catholic Church was mainly household buildings and was not being used by the Russian Orthodox Church.


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