Tuesday, October 30, 2007

An Historic Ordination in Russia

From Whispers in the Loggia:

On Saturday, before a cathedral packed with Italians and Russians, Catholics and Orthodox alike, the Italian-born cleric Paolo Pezzi was ordained archbishop of "Mother of God" of Moscow, as the Latin-rite community in the Russian capital is known.

A member of the priestly arm of Comunione e Liberazione -- Benedict XVI's favorite "new movement" -- the 47 year-old archbishop served until his September elevation as a seminary rector in St Petersburg. He succeeds Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, who was returned to the top hierarchical post in his home country of Belarus. The departing Moscow prelate -- who's spoken in interviews of his regret at not being able to forge better coexistence with the dominant and influential Russian Orthodox church -- served as principal consecrator at the three-hour long liturgy.

Reflecting the Roman consensus that Pezzi's appointment would offer yet another sign of Vatican goodwill to the Russian Orthodox, a high-ranking representative of the Moscow Patriarchate attended the liturgy and offered a message from Patriarch Alexei II which expressed hopes for improved relations between the two churches and an "early resolution" of the issues that divide them.

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