06 December 2006, 15:34
Books from Moscow to be given to a Russian church in Rome
Moscow, December 6, Interfax – The Moscow Patriarchate will supply the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Catherine, which has been recently built in Rome, with an allotment of books.
The library of religious, historical and educational books as well as fiction will be conveyed to the church’s rector by Archpriest Vladimir Silovyev, chairman of the Russian Orthodox Church Publishing Council. This event is planned to coincide with an exhibition on Church and Russia’s Religious Revival to be held in the Museum of Corso, one of the central exhibition halls in the Italian capital.
‘In spite of the difficulties which are said to exist in relations between the Russian Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches, the dialogue between the Orthodox Church and Italian Catholic is very intensive’, Bishop Mark of Yegoryevsk, vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, said during a press conference on Wednesday in Moscow.
He said in Italy there is a great number of our compatriots, as well as Ukrainians and people from Moldova.
The bishop remarked that the lesser consecration of St. Catherine’s last May provided a great impulse for contacts between Orthodox Russians and Italian Catholics.
‘There are many lovers of Russian iconography and Russian culture in general (in Italy - IF). But there are also ideas about Orthodoxy as some obscure religion. There is interest and love, on one hand, and absence of information, on the other’, the hierarch of the Russian Church stated.
He said at a time of globalization and interpenetration of cultures it is important that people should be given first-hand information about what the Russian Orthodox Church is and what place it occupies in the life of the Russian people. And the forthcoming exhibition has precisely this aim, Bishop Mark added.
Answering a question whether Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia will attend the opening of the exhibition in Rome, the bishop noted that ‘the patriarch is against the Pope of Rome’s coming to Russia today’ and he himself cannot go to Rome either.
The exhibition in Italy will show unique photo materials and collections belonging to the Russian Church’s Publishing Council. Among the exhibits will be also icons and other church art objects and books.