Vatican, Moscow patriarchate join to preserve Europe's future
May. 01 (CWNews.com) - The Holy See and the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow have joined forces for a seminar in Vienna this week on the future of European culture.
The conference-- the first such cooperative venture by the Vatican and the Moscow patriarchate-- will examine the role of Christian Church leadership in preserving the "soul" of Europe. In an April 29 preview, the Pontifical Council for Culture said that the effort is the fruit of meeting last November between Cardinal Paul Poupard and Patriarch Alexei II.
During a November 2005 visit to Moscow, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture spoke with the Russian prelate about their shared concern about "the loss of identity on the continent," and the necessity of reviving interest in Europe's Christian patrimony.
Cardinal Poupard will co-chair the sessions of the conference, along with Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk, the head of external relations for the Moscow patriarchate. At the conclusion of the meeting, the two prelates plan to release a joint statement to the world leaders who will be participating in the G8 summit meeting at St. Petersburg in July.
Vienna was chosen as a site for the conference because, as the Vatican release observed, it is midway between Rome and Moscow.