Skip to comments.Russia Church Leader Embarks on Holy Land Visit
Posted on 11/08/2012 8:14:12 PM PST by marshmallow
MOSCOW (AFP)Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Friday will make his first visit to the Holy Land since becoming head of the powerful church in 2009, in a trip which underlines his global influence as a religious leader.
Kirills first official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories will be held under the sign of peace, spokesman of the Russian Orthodox Church, Father Alexander Volkov, told AFP.
The visit will see Kirill meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, the Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas and King Abdullah II of Jordan in a new sign of his importance as a global religious figure.
His trip is the most important (religious) visit (to Israel) since that of the Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, Israels foreign ministry said.
Spokesman Volkov however ruled out any political dimension of the visit amid the search for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and analysts stressed its symbolic nature despite the growing power of the church at home.The visit has not and cannot have a political aspect, Volkov said. It is chiefly a diplomatic visit, which will have no major consequences, religious affairs analyst Vladimir Oivin said. The Patriarch will try to play a pacifying role in the region, but his initiative will probably have few results, he added.
During his six-day stay, Kirill, 65, is due to celebrate Mass with Jerusalems Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theoplilos III and meet with other local Christian leaders. He will also visit main Christian sites, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre currently in the middle of a conflict between its co-owner, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and an Israeli water supply company.
The Greek Patriarchate has been seeking Russian President Vladimir Putins help amid a dispute with Hagihon water supply company which saw Patriarchates bank accounts frozen as the company.....
(Excerpt) Read more at theorthodoxchurch.info ...
Watch as no one demonstrates or hassles the Russian Church leader. Why? they fear and respect Putin and the Russians. Russians don’t apologize—they get even. They understand Islamic people—they have been fighting them for a thousand years.