14 February 2011, 17:52
Pope-Medvedev meeting will help protect moral values worldwide - Vatican
Moscow, February 14, Interfax - The Vatican Embassy to Russia hopes that the forthcoming meeting between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Pope Benedict XVI will develop cooperation between the two states.
"I cannot say with certainty which topics exactly will be touched upon at the meeting between the Russian president and the pope but I can say that this visit will primarily become a symbol of the beautiful, friendly relationship and cooperation, which is there and is likely to grow," First Secretary at the Embassy of the Holy See to Russia Monsignor Visvaldas Kulbokas told Interfax-Religion on Monday.
It was reported that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will be in Italy on a formal visit on February 16-17, following which he will visit Vatican to meet Pope Benedict XVI.
This meeting will allow to express, "including on the part of the Holy Father," the shared views of Russia and the Holy See on the protection of life and moral values on the international arena.
At the same time, the forthcoming meeting should not be seen in the context of the Orthodox-Catholic relationship, because it will be a state visit by Medvedev (the first one since Russia and the Vatican established diplomatic relations), Kulbokas said.
Yet the relations between Russia and the Holy See "also take into account the friendly, brotherly relations between the two Churches," he said.
Asked when the Vatican will name its new ambassador to Russia who will replace outgoing Archbishop Antonio Mennini appointed as nuncio in the United Kingdom, Kulbokas said this will happen in the near future, that is "over the next few days or weeks."