.- The Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, said this week his recent visit to Russia to meet with political and religious leaders was positive for Vatican-Russian relations.
In an interview with Vatican Radio, Archbishop Lajolo explained the visit took place “at the express invitation of Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Lavrov, and this is itself indicative of the amiable tone which characterized my meeting with him on October 28.”
The archbishop also said his “meetings with other Russian leaders, with the four Catholic bishops of Russia and with Metropolitan Kyril of the Russian Orthodox Church” were warm and cordial. “The press, radio and TV have positively reported on the visit with much interest,” he noted.
Archbishop Lajolo said that the main problem facing the 600,000 Catholics in Russia today is the shortage of priests.
Regarding relations with the orthodox, the archbishop said they are “complicated” because of “the different history experienced by the two communicates and the different sensibilities regarding concrete problems, although it would be a serious error to forget that there are also positive relations.”