.- The small Catholic Church in Moscow has matured enough to now take an active part in the life of Catholics in Europe by hosting the next meeting of European bishops, said a Russian bishop.
The Council of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in Europe (CCEE) have planned to meet in St. Petersburg Oct. 5-8, 2006. The decision was made last weekend at the CCEE’s plenary session in Rome.
According to the head of the Catholic community in Russia, Archbishop Taddeuzs Kondrusiewicz, Russia waited a long time to host the bishops’ meeting.
“This meeting should have taken place in 2003, but it was put off because of certain difficulties in the ecumenical dialogue which arose after the apostolic administrations, which existed at that time, were elevated to the rank of dioceses,” the archbishop told Interfax.
He interpreted the decision to hold the session in St. Petersburg as “an official recognition of the fact that the small Catholic Church in Russia has grown mature and developed enough to take an active part in the life of the Catholics in the European continent.”
Archbishop Kondrusiewicz expressed his hope that the forum would help European bishops better understanding of the state of the Catholic Church in Russia and the general religious situation there.