Kremlin, Vatican upgrade diplomatic ties

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI and visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed Thursday to upgrade Vatican-Kremlin relations to full diplomatic ties, the Vatican said.



The step forward on the diplomatic front comes at the same time as a warming in previously tense relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Vatican.

A Vatican statement said Benedict and Medvedev agreed that Russia will upgrade its representation at the Vatican from a special mission to embassy level and that the Vatican will reciprocate in Moscow.

The two men also discussed challenges to “security and peace” in the world and “themes of mutual interest such as the value of the family and the contribution of believers to the life of Russia,” the Vatican said.

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  1. John Couretas :
  2. John Couretas :

    Patriarch Kirill urges closer inter-Christian cooperation

    The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has urged closer cooperation between different branches of Christianity, the Church reported on Friday.

    Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia received in his residence in Moscow on Friday a delegation of the Roman Catholic Church from France and Papal Nuncio Archbishop Antonio Mennini.

    “The churches that base their service on the apostolic tradition are called today to a closer interaction,” he said.

    “Today we face the challenges of secularism,” the patriarch said. “We need to jointly address the challenges being guided by historic experience.”

    Kirill also said there are new opportunities to develop bilateral ties as many Russian nationals live in Western Europe.

    “We attach a very great significance to pastor work with the Russian-speaking diaspora in the West, as nothing can bring people from different social groups closer than a church parish,” he said.

    MOSCOW, December 4 (RIA Novosti)

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