News / Europe

Pope Francis, Putin Set November Meeting Date

Pope John Paul II and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands at the Vatican, June 5, 2000.
Pope John Paul II and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands at the Vatican, June 5, 2000.
Reuters
Pope Francis will receive Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 25, an encounter that could help mend strained relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church.
 
Russian-Vatican relations have been fraught since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, with Moscow accusing the Roman Catholic Church of trying to poach believers from the Russian Orthodox Church, a charge the Vatican denies.
 
But Putin is the first Kremlin leader since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to publicly profess religious faith — to the Orthodox church — and has several times advocated ending the long feud between the two major Christian churches.
 
Putin, who also met the pontiff's two immediate predecessors, could invite the pope to visit Russia, diplomats said.
 
Popes Benedict and John Paul had standing invitations from the Russian government but could not go because they received no matching invitation from the Orthodox Church. Francis would need the same to go to Russia.
 
Another dispute between the churches concerns the fate of many church properties that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered confiscated from Eastern Rite Catholics, who worship in an Orthodox liturgy but owe their allegiance to Rome.
 
Stalin gave the Catholic property to the Russian Orthodox Church, but after the fall of communism, the Eastern Rite Catholics took back many sites, leading to a rise in tensions.
 
The Russian Orthodox Church, which has resurged since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has some 165 million members in former Soviet republics including Russia and other states.
 
Francis is the first non-European pope in 1,300 years. His  predecessors came from countries — Italy, Poland and Germany — that were caught up in the 20th century's two global conflicts as well as in the Cold War that followed World War Two.
 
Diplomats have said that Francis, an Argentine with no European political baggage, would have a far better chance of improving ties with the Russian Orthodox Church.
 
There have been signs of a general warming between the western and eastern branches of Christianity.
 
On March 20, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew became the first worldwide spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians to attend a papal inaugural Mass since the Great Schism split western and eastern Christianity in 1054.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid