.- The Catholic bishops of Russia met yesterday in Germany with various Church aid agencies to discuss the areas of need that the Church in Russia has and to formulate plans to eventually make the Russian Church financially self sufficient.
Present for the meeting were representatives of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Aid to the Church in Central and Easter Europe charity, Caritas, the Treasury of the Italian Bishops’ Conference and Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), among others.
The meeting of the Russian bishops took place at the headquarters of ACN and began with each of the bishops providing an overview of the situation in their diocese. The bishops of the Archdiocese of Moscow as well as the dioceses of Novosibirsk, Irkutsk and Saratov were all present.
After the overviews were presented, discussions moved on to how to help support seminarians, further education for priests and sisters, improve the situation of the Catholic media in Russia. The relationship between Christian denominations in the Russian Federation was also touched upon.
For their part, the charities promised to continue supporting the Catholic church of Russia and help it to meet the challenges of the post-communist era and of the very difficult economic situation.
Special attention will be given to the building and maintenance of churches, the assistance of seminarians for priesthood, the promotion of Christian values within society and especially within families, and all measures that will make the Catholic Church in Russia incrementally more independent from foreign assistance in the future.