Russia Comes to Rome

Another concrete manifestation of the improving relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church occurred yesterday in Rome.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, attended a three-hour ceremony to dedicate the Orthodox Church of the Great Martyr Saint Catherine on the grounds of the Russian Embassy,The New York Times reported.

The May 24 dedication took place on the Orthodox feast day for St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who are known as Apostles of the Slavs.

Also attending the dedication were Svetlana Medvedev, wife of the Russian president, and Yuri Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow. The ceremony was led by Metropolitan Valentin of Orenburg and Buzuluk.

“We are happy that the Russian Orthodox community has a new church in the center of Rome, Cardinal Kasper said, the Times reported. “It is a sign that we are nearer to each other.”