WEDNESDAY
March 14, 2001
volume 12, no. 73

Russian Catholics Upset by Lawmaker's Charges



    VATICAN, Mar 12, 01 (CWNews.com) -- Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Moscow says that he is "indignant," and the Catholic faithful are "seriously concerned," in reaction to accusations by the nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky that the Catholic Church is acting as an expansionist power in Russia.

    Archbishop Kondrusiewicz, the apostolic administrator for European Russia, made his remarks in a March 13 interview with the Italian daily Avvenire. He was responding to a statement in which Zhirinovsky, a representative in the Russian Duma (parliament), had urged the government to "curb Catholic expansionism." He had also led Duma members in asking for an investigation of Catholic activities.

    Catholics in Russia are doing their best to promote "constructive dialogue with civil society," the archbishop said. The Church maintains an attitude of "mutual respect" with other faiths, and the Duma's call for an investigation of the Catholic Church contradicts the parliament's obligation to protect the rights of religious minorities, he charged. Archbishop Kondrusiewicz said that he hoped the calls for such an investigation would prove to be based on "misunderstandings, caused by insufficient information," and not "the signal for the start of a political campaign" against the Catholic Church.


March 14, 2001
volume 12, no. 73
News from the Universal Church
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