DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     May 20, 1998     vol. 9, no. 98

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          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.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

May 20, 1998       volume 9, no. 98


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