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Russia: Moscow, meeting on “Vatican Ostpolitik, Soviet Union and Orthodox Church”

“Vatican Ostpolitik, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Orthodox Church (1958-1978)” is the subject of the international meeting opening at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow tomorrow. During the first day, the “political-diplomatic context” will be examined: the Vatican-Russia relationship focussing on the Western World during the pontificate of Pious XII, in the Sixties amidst Second Vatican Council and detente, and the period of John XXIII and Paul VI, with ecumenical openness; continuity or change with respect to Moscow? Then, the Orient will be taken into consideration: “Moscow and local powers in the Republics of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, with reference to the relations with the Catholic Church in the period of Brezhnev; the reaction of the Foreign Ministry of the Soviet Union to the election of Karol Wojtyła; and the plan of the Soviet Catholic Church. Helsinki Accords, the role of Germany, and Secretary of State Agostino Casaroli will be themes for further in-depth analyses. In the second day, the relations of the Orthodox and the Catholic Church will be examined, through key figures such as Polish Primate Stefan Wyszyński, Slovakian Bishop Pavol Mária Hnilica; questions such as “Greek-Catholics”, or experiences such as academic exchanges, will be faced. President of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences Father Bernard Ardura will be one of the personalities opening works.

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