ACN News: Thursday, 21st June 2012 – RUSSIA
Archbishop Pezzi: “Christianity enriches Russian society”
By Jurgen Liminiski
The Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Russia, Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, sees it as one of the tasks of the Church in Russia “to give joint witness to Christian values” in a society marked by the materialism of the last hundred years. Christians must “show that Christianity enriches society”. The bond with Christ makes people better, and society is also improved. With this in mind, the Catholic Church in Russia “is very grateful for aid from the faithful outside Russia, especially on the part of the charity Aid to the Church in Need”. During a visit to Moscow by the Executive President of Aid to the Church in Need, Johannes Freiherr Heereman, the Archbishop added: “This aid makes it possible for us to give life to our identity”. Donations “from ordinary people and the faithful provide a basis for solidarity across all borders”. This does not only apply to material assistance. The exchanges by Catholic congregations with schools in Italy, for example, turn this solidarity into a very personal experience.
The Archbishop, who has lived in Russia with minor breaks for 14 years, described relations with the Orthodox Church as “better and better”. The joint witness for Christ is shown in collaborative projects and at intercultural events, he said. The problem of the Catholic Church is the lack of personnel and resources. The desire for pastoral support and for information in the field of family pastoral care is growing among the faithful, especially in the major cities. This represents on the one hand the normality of social relations in an industrialised nation, but on the other hand these needs are continually raising questions about the available resources. Therefore the Church in Russia will certainly remain dependent on aid from abroad for a long time to come.
The Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Russia, Archbishop Paolo Pezzi
with the Executive President of Aid to the Church in Need, Johannes Freiherr Heereman (© Blagovest Info)
Directly under the Holy See, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. ACN is a Catholic charity – helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.
The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, Aid to the Church in Need’s Child’s Bible – God Speaks to his Children has been translated into 162 languages and 48 million copies have been distributed all over the world.
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