14 May 2007, 11:43
Catholic archbishop rejects the practice of proselytism in Russia
Moscow, May 14, Interfax - Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, leader of the Catholics in Russia, has stated his strong rejection of the practice of proselytism, which is conversion of Orthodox Russian into Catholicism.
‘Russia is above all an Orthodox country and it is the Russian Orthodox Church that is responsible in the first place for converting people (to Christianity - IF)’, he said at the conference held in Moscow last Saturday to mark the 90th anniversary of the appearance of the Mother of God at Fatima, Portugal.
The archbishop also stressed that the Catholics were called ‘together with Orthodox brothers’ to take part in the conversion of people, ‘helping each other and strictly observing the teaching of the Catholic Church that proselytism is absolutely unacceptable and cannot constitute a strategy for the development of our (Catholic - IF) structures either in Russia or in any other country in the world’.
‘In face of the challenges of the modern world, we and our Orthodox brothers are allies, for our positions on the basic range of modern problems are very similar. We are equally concerned for the preservation of moral values and the building of a future on their foundation’, the archbishop said.
According to tradition, the Mother of God appeared to three small shepherds on May 13, 1917, calling to prayer and repentance. She asked especially to pray for Russia, foretelling the establishment of a totalitarian regime there. There are also other Fatima prophecies, as the Virgin Mary predicted almost all the major events to take place in the 20 century world history.
Archbishop Kondrusiewicz noted that the Fatima prediction about Russia’s turning to God is sometimes misinterpreted as its conversion to Catholicism.
‘It is completely wrong’, he stressed, ‘Mary spoke about Russia’s conversion in general. It is a long and undergoing process, and we all should participate in it, as we are all sinners and we all stand in need of repentance and conversion’.