Parishioners of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Moscow have asked their Archbishop Mgr. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz about the possibility of praying for Christian unity before the icon of Our Lady of Kazan prior to being given to the Orthodox Church in the Kremlin. However, as of yet they have not received an answer.
A Vatican delegation headed by Walter Cardinal Kasper will present the icon to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II as a personal gift of the Pope to the Orthodox Church so that it may be venerated by the entire Russian people.
For not the first time on such occasions, the Catholic Archbishop has not been invited to attend the handing over ceremony on August 28, nor have Moscow’s Catholics. In both 2001 and 2003 relics were presented by the Catholic Church to the Russian Patriarch, and both times the Catholic Archbishop was not invited.
Extending an invitation to Archbishop Kondrusiewicz and Moscow’s Catholics would help improve the ecumenical situation between Orthodox and Catholics in Russia according to experts.