This is a hopeful sign! I'm not sure exactly what it portends, but it's cause for hope.
Evidence of "possible cooperation" between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church continues between Rome and Moscow. And the playing filed on which they meet remains the struggle for the affirmation of the Christian roots of Europe "threatened by secularism.
The latest episode that gives hope for a real climate of greater proximity between the two Churches, is the presentation (today in Rome) of "Europe Spiritual Homeland", a bilingual volume in Italian and Russian collecting the speeches that Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI dedicated to Europe over the past decade. The novel aspect is that for the first time the publisher of the book is the patriarch of Moscow. The introduction to the volume is by the Chairman of the Department for External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk. The editorial initiative was taken by the Department of External Relations of the Patriarchate in cooperation with the International Association "Sofia".
The publication takes place on the eve of the visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to the Vatican where he will meet the Pope. The leader of the Kremlin will arrive December 3 in Italy on the occasion of bilateral Summits of Heads of State and Government of both countries. In diplomatic circles linked to the Vatican, for the past few months there have been rumours that Russia will open an embassy to the Holy See. A few months ago, Medvedev himself had mentioned, to the Italian press, this possibility. . . . (continue reading)