DAILY CATHOLIC WEDNESDAY May 20, 1998 vol. 9, no. 98
NEWS & VIEWS
RED ARMY CHORUS TO SING FOR POPE
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- In a gesture with remarkable historic and ecumenical implications, the Red Army chorus will sing the Lord's Prayer, in honor of Pope John Paul II, in a public performance on Ascension Thursday. The event will be broadcast, live from Moscow's Red Square, by the Italian television network RAI.
The performance by the Red Army chorus will be part of a larger program prepared by RAI, in collaboration with the Vatican committee preparing for the Jubilee. The program will highlight several cities around the world which have played a historic role in the development of Christianity, including Moscow along with Canterbury, Istanbul (Constantinople), and Beirut.
It is remarkable that the Red Army, once devoted to the spread of an
atheist ideology, would participate in a program devoted to
Christianity. It may be equally remarkable that the Russian group
would dedicate their performance to Pope John Paul II, at a time
when ecumenical relations between the Holy Father and the Russian
Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow have been notably cool. Since
the cancellation of a planned June 1997 meeting with the Pope, the
Patriarch-- who wields great political influence in Russia-- has
repeatedly insisted that no such meeting can take place as long as
the Catholic Church continues to engage in "proselytism" in
"traditionally Orthodox" regions such as Russia and Ukraine.
Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
NEWS & VIEWS