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Moscow's Catholic leader says union with Orthodox is deepest wish

February 18, 2010

Moscow's Catholic archbishop laid heavy emphasis on respect for the Russian Orthodox faith in an interview with an Italian magazine, Vita e Pensiero. ??“It is obviously impossible to be Catholics in Russia without deepest respect to the Russian Orthodox Church, without sincerest and ardent wish to unite with her," said Archbishop Paolo Pezzi in the interview, which has now been translated into Russian. Clearly sensitive to Orthodox complaints about Catholic "proselytizing" in Russia, the archbishop said that he sees the goal of Catholic clerics "not as parallel or competing with the mission of the Orthodox Church, as if we were trying to convert more Russians to Catholicism, but as truly ecumenical." Ultimately, he said, all Catholics want to achieve full unity with the Orthodox Church, which represents "part of the richest spiritual tradition of this nation."


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