2011-01-27 15:19:00

Patriarch Kirill thanks Vatican envoy for important contribution in improving Orthodox-Catholic relations

Moscow, January 27, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia thanked Vatican Ambassador to the Russian Federation Archbishop Antonio Mennnini who resumes his work in Russia for great help in tuning up relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

"I'd like to thank you for your work as the representative of the Holy See to Moscow and point out to your personal contribution in settling difficult problems in relations between our Churches. With God's mercy these problems are being positively settled which changes climate of the bilateral relations for the better. It is, in many respects, your achievement as a plenipotentiary representative of the Holy See," the Patriarch said at a meeting with the nuncio in Moscow.

In his turn, Archbishop Mennini thanked the Russian Church Primate for his help in work. "I've been glad to work for the welfare of our Churches, but this work would have been much more complicated without your support, friendly attitude and Christian love," the nuncio said.

"I will never forget you and the Russian Church, but on the contrary will always keep on loving it," Mennini added and assured he was ready to contribute in the mutual witness to Christian values in the world.

As was reported last month Pope Benedict XVI of Rome appointed Archbishop Antonio Mennini a nuncio to Britain.

Monsignor Mennini was appointed to Russia by late Pope John Paul II of Rome in November 2002. Working in Russia he has always stressed the importance of respectful attitude of Catholics to the Orthodox church tradition.

Mennini more than once backed up the Russian Church in its socially important initiatives. Thus, the Archbishop welcomed the ideas of introducing institute of chaplains in the Russian Army and "Foundations of Orthodox Culture" in schools. He also opposed the reproaches of the Moscow Patriarchate in "clericization" of society.

Full-fledged diplomatic relations between Russia and the Holy See were established during Mennini's work in Moscow.