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While Premier Was Talking, President "Discovered" New Country

While Premier Was Talking, President "Discovered" New Country

The president of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev finished short working visit to Vatican in the course of which he talked to the state secretary of Vatican Tarchizio Bertoni and had an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. The president informed the state secretary of Vatican that he signed the decree about establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Vatican.

The president and Benedict XVl had a confidential talk. The Russian leader and Benedict XVI exchanged gifts. The Russian president presented the pontific a varnish casket with the image of Christ the Savior Cathedral as a gift. The president told the pontific a little from the history of the cathedral and explained that now Christ the Savior Cathedral is the main cathedral of the country.

The president also presented Benedict XVI 22 volumes of the Orthodox encyclopedia. He reminded that the pontific already received as a gift some volumes of this encyclopedia from Vladimir Putin occupying then a post of the head of the Russian state and explained that he gave the pontific new volumes published since the meeting of Benedict XVI with Putin.

"But I cannot read all this", - the pontific said with a smile.

"You will be helped", - the Russian president said.

In his turn Benedict XVI presented the Russian leader the first copy of the Russian text of last encyclic "Love in Truth" and also lithograph of 17th century of Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini. The representative of prefecture of the Papal court explained the Russian president that it is a question of the historical document from library of Vatican representing cathedral in 17th century.

"Since then the cathedral facade has changed", - the representative of prefecture said.


From editorial board: Establishment of diplomatic relations with Vatican could be hardly considered out of "war of reports" which Medvedev and Putin have been carrying out already for long. We will recollect, while Putin supported Russia on the Olympic Games in Beijing, Medvedev urgently came back vacations and won war against Georgia. Later, while Medvedev was engaged in something non-significant, Putin urgently jerked to Turkey and dealt with a pipeline question. Now, while Putin for whole 4 hours about nothing, Medvedev established diplomatic relations with Pope.


The chairman of Papal council on assistance to unity of Christians Walter Kasper thus warned in advance that president Medvedev would not have to act in a role of "intermediary" between Catholic church and the Russian Orthodox Church - it's a delicate question and Vatican decided "not to put the plug" to the guys from Petersburg.

Dialogue between churches has been opened for long time and has been actively carried out "on various communication channels". Thereupon the cardinal reminded, in particular, of numerous meetings between representatives of the Sacred throne and the Moscow patriarchy which took place recently.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church and Pope never met but the present patriarch then was in modester status, he didn't meet representatives of Vatican. Certainly present Medvedev's meeting with Pope is a result of teamwork of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and External Church Affairs of Moscow Patriarchate. It is possible to say that patriarch Cyril in this case transferred to Medvedev the trump in the "war of reports".

For the Russian Orthodox Church activity of Medvedev in Vatican represents some problem - after all a number of questions of principle with the Roman church are not settled, first of all it's the question of Ukraine and the question of proselytism. Now Vatican will have an opportunity to enter initial territory of the Russian Orthodox Church as the state, i.e. it will receive embassy and consulates. The Russian Orthodox Church in exchange receives nothing, as well as the Russian Federation.



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