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Russian President Putin to meet with Pope Francis Nov. 25 November 7, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, Society, true leadership.
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Putin is certainly a hard man to read. He speaks of the Christian Faith a great deal, but he doesn’t often seem to live it in areas of policy.  He has done a great deal to bolster the position of the Russian Orthodox Church, using close Church-state relations in much the same manner as the Tsars once did.  Putin definitely seems to believe Russia needs a strong, Tsar-like leader, and perhaps they do. Democracy in Russia is nascent, and he may be manipulating election results in his own favor.  He’s also insured major business interests and near-mafia like organizations stay very, very rich.  Socially, he’s been about as conservative a leader as there is on the world stage, at least among developed nations.  That has not been entirely bad, even though it drives Western liberals (which is pretty much everybody) nuts.

Nevertheless, Putin has made meeting Pope Francis a priority, and such will occur on November 25:

President Vladimir Putin will pay a visit to Pope Francis. The audience is set for Monday, the 25th of November. The meeting was strongly desired by the Russian head of state. The diplomats of the Kremlin made inquiries a few weeks ago at the Vatican to include a trip to Rome during Putin’s trip to Italy, which leads him to Trieste. The wish was granted immediately by the Vatican. On the same day, the man in the Kremlin will also pay a courtesy visit to the Italian Head of State, as required by diplomatic convention. But the real destination is Pope Francis.

Putin is not just seeking a photo-op, which would immortalize him next to the head of the Catholic Church. Russia seeks to establish a new network of strategic partnerships for several years. This was exemplified with the rapprochement between the Russian Orthodox and the Catholic Church under Pope Benedict XVI., an approach that is reinforced by the reigning Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill. However, the approach involves not only the Church but also the political level. And reveals that this is not just a purely political question.

In Moscow there is a quest for similarities and potential allies for a counterweight to the United States. A power struggle under very different circumstances. It’s about national interests, geopolitics, and influence. But it is also a dimly recognizable counter-model to the new Western state doctrine of relativism. At this level, Putin calls out to the West. He did this by supporting the opponents of gay marriage in France and by Russia’s refusal to fall under the U.S. Cartel….

…..Syria will only be a topic of discussion to demonstrate similarities. Russia has signaled in the Middle East it is ready to take on the role of protector of the Christians, whom the West seems to be willing to give up on other interests. [The United States, in particular, has never been interested in defending the interests of Christians as such.  Occasionally the US defends Christians as an incidental to other policy, but overall, in foreign lands, the US generally has been neutral to coldly hostile to Christian communities, especially traditional ones.]

……In Russia, there is quite an interest to forge a kind of “Holy Alliance”. Moscow has set aside a lot of the old resentment against the West and its representatives. What seemed unthinkable for the Moscow Patriarch with a Polish Pope, was already possible under a German pope. Then a Pope from Argentina is definitively not in the old East-West logic in which the Catholic Church was seen as part of the North Atlantic Alliance by Russia. This is also why new opportunities of approach are seen in the East…….

Yes, well, possibly. I’m still not convinced that Russia’s interest in Christian communities outside Russia proper has much to do with defending the Faith. I think it may still have much more to do with Russia’s geopolitical interests, especially their interests to develop a counter-balance to the rapidly decaying US hegemony and create a “multi-polar” world with numerous rival nations of more or less similar power, ending the superpower dynamic.  I daresay, Obama’s policies to bankrupt the US and implode US military supremacy are doing more to advance Putin’s agenda than anything Putin himself could do.

But, on the margins, Putin does, even if for selfish purposes, take stands that do fairly often defend traditional Christian interests. His stands against homosexuality in Russia, in particular, were refreshing if only to see the reaction of American and Western European sexular pagans.  It’s nice to know there is one country not completely gone over to the embrace of the worst forms of hedonism. Whether that means Putin and Pope Francis can come to any kind of an accord – that is more than just empty words – remains to be seen.  It could be the start of interesting developments, nonetheless.

Comments

1. Catholic4Life - November 8, 2013

Reblogged this on Catholic4Life.

2. DiscipleoftheDumbOx - November 8, 2013

“Russia has signaled in the Middle East it is ready to take on the role of protector of the Christians,”

This.is.huge.

The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways and though it does not appear to be operating under completely pure circumstances, from what I have learned God is able to bring about great good from seemingly even great evil, cf. the lineage of our Lord and King.

One thing seems to be certain, this isn’t the Russia we as members of these United States have come to know in the 1980s. Times have changed. I, for one, would like to believe that this is due to Our Lady’s wishes being carried out. I don’t need a skillet to the head to see this…

3. Anonymous - November 9, 2013

Pope Francis and the Patriarch of the Greek Catholic Church in Kiev are personal friends. When the Patriarch was a Bishop in Buenos Aires. They got to know each other and the Pope expressed admiration for the Divine Liturgy. Surely he will consult with the Patriarch prior to this meeting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sviatoslav_Shevchuk


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