Saturday, April 19, 2014


Russia

Patriarch Kirill Heads To Poland For Historic Reconciliation Visit

Patriarch Kirill's visit will last for four days.
Patriarch Kirill's visit will last for four days.
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By Claire Bigg and Aleksei Dzikavitski
Patriarch Kirill heads to Poland this week for a historic fence-mending visit, the first by a head of the Russian Orthodox Church since the country regained independence after World War I.
 
During his four-day visit, from August 16-19, Kirill is scheduled to meet with leaders of the country's Autocephalous Orthodox Church, tour some of its churches, and hold talks with top officials and leaders of Poland's Catholic Church.
 
But the highlight of his visit will be the signing of a document calling on Poles and Russians to forgive each other the dark pages of their shared history.
 
The document will be signed by Kirill and Archbishop Jozef Michalik, the head of Poland's conference of bishops, on August 17 in Warsaw's Royal Castle.
 
"We are deeply convinced that relations between the peoples of Russia and Poland, which have often been marred by hatred, wars and enmity, can and must be improved," said the Russian Orthodox Church's head of external relations, Metropolitan Hilarion, ahead of Kirill's trip.
 
The appeal is the first of its kind to be penned by the two churches. Like the Moscow Patriarchate, the Roman Catholic Church in Poland has carefully stressed that its message is solely spiritual, not political.
 
Jozef Kloch, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church in Poland, said that in this joint message, "history is mentioned only in general terms, because it's mostly the job of historians to deal with history."

"But it's very important to pave the way for dialogue, to engage in discussions based on the evangel of Jesus Christ common to both our churches. The goal is also the reconciliation between people, ordinary people," Kloch said.
 
Difficult History

Russia and Poland have been historical foes and enemies on the battlefield for centuries and nurse deep mutual grievances. In recent decades, a number of episodes have clouded relations between the two countries.
 
Poland continues to seek justice for the Katyn massacre, in which more than 20,000 Polish officers were executed by the Soviet secret police in 1940. Poles resent Moscow's subsequent decades of domination in the postwar era, which only ended in 1989. 
 
Russia, in turn, accuses Poles of mistreating Red Army prisoners in the 1920s. More recently, Poland angered Russia in 2008 by accepting to host elements of a planned U.S. antimissile shield. 
 
Warsaw and Moscow have also traded barbs over the 2010 plane crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others and over the issue of alleged proselytizing by the Roman Catholic Church in Russia. 
 
Russian religion analyst Mark Smirnov says Kirill's reconciliation efforts are partly due to the change of leadership within the Moscow Patriarchate following the death of Patriarch Aleksii in 2008.

"The Russian Orthodox Church's head of external relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, once served in Lithuania and enjoys close relations with the leaders of the Catholic Church in Poland, with the head of Poland's Catholic Church, and he has been there a number of times," Smirnov said. "He is behind such initiatives to seek reconciliation between peoples through inter-church dialogue."
 
In another recent gesture toward Poland, Kirill made a pilgrimage last month to the burial site of Katyn massacre victims, in Russia's Smolensk region.
 
But the Russian Orthodox Church is known for its close ties with the Kremlin, and Kirill's visit is widely seen as having political undertones, too.

"Behind all this stands a policy authorized by the Russian Foreign Ministry. This way, Moscow is signaling that it would like to find compromises. Russia is worried that Poland will become a NATO base, especially regarding antimissile defense plans," Smirnov said. "So this is obviously also an attempt to influence Polish politics and the Polish public."
 
Patriarch Kirill's landmark visit to Poland could also be overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the all-female punk dissident band Pussy Riot, three of whose members are on trial for singing a song critical of Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow's largest cathedral.
 
A Moscow court is due to hand down its verdict against the trio on August 17, the day Kirill signs the Russian-Polish reconciliation appeal.
 
The Moscow Patriarchate has been criticized for its unforgiving stance against the three women, who face up to seven years in prison.
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous from: USA
August 15, 2012 15:21
Kirill is an FSB stooge....the Russians are just trying to influence Poland's relations with NATO. Poland or one of the Baltic countries will probably become a NATO base if Cuba or Venezuela becomes a Russian base. Reciprocal action...
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
August 15, 2012 16:56
I wouldn't argue your simplistic "base" arifmetics.
Many would see it that way - but it is rather baseless,
Without saying Russia aggress and annex East Europe:
Pol's government killed, neighbors genocide and cleansings,
Energy and economy blockades, impudent Imperial-encroach.

I wouldn't mind they reconcile, it happened few times in past,
Only as a leure to invade. Look at Kirill's facial expressions.
I do not thing he is just stooge. For number of years - bust
Of Russians, provokers and telepaths, organized attacks
Against me and my mother, also poisons and infections.

I cought few times one of them, and thought "I kill him!",
In haist (in old country it was usual, they had no guns).
Instantly femail voice in coridor: - "Don't even dare think
Or Kirill will kill you and your mother!". A decade Ivans
Did it in apartment building - 7/7/2012 my mother killed.

Russia used CIA to blackmail me and finish-of mother,
Infected once again by Russians. As they infected me,
Number of times - last time for helping McCain and UN
Stop further Russian invasion in Georgia, August 2008.
That was bad, three days antibiotics IV, leg is still dark.

Is Kirill advise and consent leaders in Russian tradition?
Repopulate non-Russian lands and houses by Rashka?
Annex Georgia and Caucasus? Cleansing and influxing?
Annex Moldova? Annex East Europe and Central Asia?
Murder whole Poll's government? Murder my mother?

I do not know for sure...
Russians in USA doing it to millions of Eastern-born,
Specially Jews - just to torture and murder them all
As volf's meet and to make money, as helping them
Get sick and die. Sometimes get medal (from Kirill?)
To kill old "dangerous" lady, because I am still free...
In Response

by: Frank
August 17, 2012 06:16
"Anonymous"

Filaret, the head of the Ukrianan Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate is a womaning bum and the Roman Catholic Church is marred by corruption and sexual perverts.
In Response

by: Anonymous from: USA
August 17, 2012 15:11
Frank-
ALL churches are corrupt, I'm sure there are child molesters and perverts in the Russian Orthodox church also....they just haven't been caught because of a selective justice system in Russia that protects FSB agents and their loyalists. Don't even try to suggest that other churches are worse....
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
August 28, 2012 07:16
Anonymous is probably right, Russian church has enough of it.
Althought Georgians like Peter the Great and Stalin fold the did,
Making out of many Russians honorable gentlmen and officers,
The influence of Greco-Macedonian Visantine prists still visable
From "kala-kala-kalitera pop .... konditera" through sick children.

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