Archbishop sees improvements for Catholics in Russia

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Archbishop Paolo Pezzi. Credit: Tincatina (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Catholic relations with the Russian Orthodox Church are getting “better and better,” a leading Catholic archbishop in Russia has said.

Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Russia, said one of the tasks of the Catholic Church is to give “joint witness to Christian values” in a society that has been dominated by a century of materialism.

Both Churches have conducted collaborative projects and intercultural events.

The archbishop said that Christians must show that Christianity “enriches society” and that union with Christ makes people and societies better, the international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need reports.

Archbishop Pezzi heads the Latin Rite Archdiocese of the Mother of God, headquartered in Moscow. He has lived in Russia for most of the last 14 years.

He recently met with Johannes Freiherr Heereman, Aid to the Church in Need’s executive president. The archbishop expressed gratitude for aid to the Catholic Church in Russia.

“This aid makes it possible for us to give life to our identity,” Archbishop Pezzi said. Donations from ordinary people provide “a basis for solidarity across all borders.”

The Catholic Church in Russia lacks personnel and resources to meet the desire for pastoral support and family pastoral care among the faithful, which is especially growing in the major cities.

Archbishop Pezzi said that the Catholic Church in Russia will be dependent on aid from abroad for the foreseeable future.

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