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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid