Mgr. Antonio Mennini: “Unity and no resigned acceptance of Catholic-Orthodox division.”

3 Feb 2011

The Apostolic Nuncio, Mgr Antonio Mennini, said goodbye to Russia’s Catholic community. In his address, he appealed for unity against any resigned acceptance of Catholic-Orthodox division.

  “With perestroika, the Catholic Church, like the Orthodox Church, came out of a long period of trials and persecution,” he said. “Now these problems are slowly finding a solution, and Catholics feel increasingly part of the country. This comes with a gradual opening to cooperation and dialogue at the social and Church levels… Culture, education and social services are privileged fields because Christians are increasingly conscious that they must respond together to the growing challenges of secularist society… Today the contribution the Catholic Church can make to Russian society and the Russian Church is that of Christian witness and presence, especially in the cultural and social fields, which for historical reasons were monopolised in Russia by the atheistic regime.” Indeed, “I think that Russian Catholics can find their place and discover their mission in society to the extent that they deepen the knowledge and experience of their tradition, of their ‘Catholicity’.”

In appealing to unity, Mgr Mennini did not refer only to relations “to brothers in other faiths or Christian confessions,” but also to “the Catholic community, its associations, parishes and families: that they may all be one so that the world may believe and may be the subject of your daily and lifelong prayers.”

 Appointed nuncio to Russia in 2002 by John Paul II, Mgr Mennini, 63, will now devote himself to relations with the Anglican Church, after personally experiencing renewed cooperation with the Moscow Patriarchate.

Complete Article – AsiaNews

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