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The interesting history between Russia and the Vatican

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin is paying a visit to Russia on August 21-24 to hold meetings with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and state officials.

Vladimir Rodzianko

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Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as well as other state officials and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Here is the brief history of relations between Russia and the Vatican City.

Russia and the Vatican established their first state-level contacts in the late 15th century. The first Russian mission to the Vatican was accredited in 1817 under Tsar Alexander I.

For several decades, the Soviet Union remained one of the most closed countries to the Vatican. The warmest period in the bilateral inter-state relations was under Pope Paul VI (1963-1978). On January 30, 1967, Nikolai Podgorny, the chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, paid the first official visit to the Vatican.

Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko had two brief meetings with the holy pontiffs. The first such meeting took place on October 4, 1965 in New York, where Pope Paul VI greeted delegates of the UN General Assembly. The Pope received Gromyko four times. The first unofficial meeting was held on April 27, 1966, followed by meetings on November 12, 1970, February 21, 1974 and June 28, 1975. Pope John Paul II met with Gromyko twice: on January 24, 1979 and February 27, 1985.

After each meeting, the Soviet Government slightly mitigated its policies with regard to religion in general and the Roman Catholic Church in particular. On December 1, 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev, chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, paid an official visit to Pope John Paul II. On November 18, 1990, Gorbachev was received at the Vatican once again.

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Pope John Paul II.

The Soviet Union and the Vatican established official relations on March 15, 1990. After the breakup of the USSR, the Vatican recognized the Russian Federation’s independence and sovereignty on September 5, 1991.

On December 20, 1991, first Russian President Boris Yeltsin paid his first official visit to the Vatican. Pope John Paul II received Yeltsin for the second time on February 10, 1998. Pope John Paul II received Vladimir Putin, Russia’s second president, twice: in June 2000 and November 2003.

On March 13, 2007, Putin met with Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican.

On December 3, 2009, then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev paid a working visit to the Vatican and was received there by Pope Benedict XVI. During their meeting, both sides voiced their intention to raise the level of relations between Russia and the Holy See.

On December 9, 2009, Russia and the Holy See exchanged notes on establishing bilateral diplomatic relations at the level of the Russian Embassy in the Vatican and the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican’s top-level diplomatic mission in Russia.

On February 17, 2011, then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev paid the first official visit to the Vatican after the establishment of full-fledged diplomatic relations. Medvedev and Pope Benedict XVI focused on the prospects of humanitarian, cultural and social cooperation, as well as in science, education and culture. They also discussed broadening of the interfaith dialogue. After being received by the Holy Pontiff, Medvedev had a brief meeting with Cardinal Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone, the Cardinal Secretary of State.

On November 25, 2013, President Putin met face to face with Pope Francis for 35 minutes in the Vatican. He presented the Holy Pontiff with the Icon of Vladimir Mother of God. In response, Pope Francis presented the Russian leader with a majolica depicting the Gardens of the Vatican. While saying goodbye, he asked the president to convey his best wishes to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

On June 10, 2015, Putin visited the Vatican once again and met with Pope Francis. During their conversation, which lasted more than an hour, they discussed the current situation on the international agenda, including the crisis in Ukraine.

On December 17, 2016, Putin had a telephone conversation with Pope Francis and wished him a happy 80th birthday.

The heads of foreign ministries of the two states met in the Vatican in 2004, 2005 and 2007. In March 2009, Cardinal Dominique Mamberti, the secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See’s Secretariat of State, visited Moscow and met with Lavrov.

On November 3, 2015, Belgrade hosted a meeting between Lavrov and Paul Richard Gallagher, the secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See’s Secretariat of State, on the sidelines of the OSCE Ministerial Meeting.

On December 2, 2016, Lavrov visited the Vatican and met with Parolin and Gallagher.

Russia and the Vatican cooperate within the United Nations and other international organizations, including the OSCE and the Council of Europe.

Science and education cooperation is also developing dynamically. The Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World History and the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences are implementing numerous historical research projects. In October 2013, the two institutions signed a five-year cooperation agreement. Scientific conferences take place on a regular basis.

Russia and the Vatican continue to expand their cultural contacts. From April 14 through June 11, 2011, the Raphael Hall at the Vatican Museums hosted the exhibition “Faberge: Holy Images” sponsored by the Link of Times cultural and historical foundation and featuring 140 exhibits owned by the Russian Royal Family and representatives of Russian and European aristocracy.

The Vatican Museums provided Caravaggio’s masterpiece, “The Entombment of Christ,” for the exhibition “Caravaggio (1571-1610): Paintings from the Collections of Italy and the Vatican” at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. From October 2013 through January 2014, the Vatican Museums hosted an exhibition called “Precious antiquities: The Profane Museum at the time of Pius VI” with the support of Russia’s State Hermitage.

From November 2016 through March 2017, Moscow hosted an exhibition called “Roma Aeterna: Masterpieces from the Vatican Pinacotheca: Bellini, Raphael, Caravaggio.” In 2017-2018, the Vatican Museums are to host a reciprocal exhibition of masterpieces from the State Tretyakov Gallery called “Raphael and Ivanov: Transfiguration and Appearance.”

In addition to inter-state cooperation between Russia and the Vatican, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church are actively expanding their dialogue.

On February 12, 2016, a meeting between Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Pope Francis made history in Havana. The meeting marked the first encounter in history between a Roman Catholic pope and a Russian Orthodox patriarch in the nearly 1,000 years since Eastern Orthodoxy split with Rome.

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Vlad PufagtinenkoBessarabynSuzanne Giraud Recent comment authors
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Bessarabyn
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Bessarabyn

First : Ivan IV (Ivan Grozny – the stern ) threw the Vatican emissary out of Moskau because of his impertinence and claims of absolute representative authority (Alleinvertretungsanspruch) over all Christian peoples plus the insulting command to “convert” the upright Russian orthodox peoples to the Roman reductionism and fakeanity. From this stems the western propaganda label as “Ivan the Terrible” . (He was only terrible for the Tatar hordes , reconquering much old Russian land ). And no : he did not kill his son . Anyone dealing with Rome/Babylon shall have Ivan Grozny and St. Vladimir as invisible guides… Read more »

Suzanne Giraud
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Suzanne Giraud

Thank you. I had expected to read here the TRUE history of the fake zio-western ‘Roman Empire’ started by fake zo-Emperor Charlemagne while the true original Roman Empire and Empress Irene (at that time) were in Constantinople. One day, soon.

Bessarabyn
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Bessarabyn

Bien dit, merci !

Vlad Pufagtinenko
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Vlad Pufagtinenko

Why would anyone from the Vatican meet with that Satan worshipper Kirill

What else would you call s church leader who blesses the weaponry that killed Ukrainian women and children.

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Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:


The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

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EU’s ‘toothless’ response to creation of Kosovo army risks worsening the crisis – Moscow

Russia’s ambassador to the UN said that the EU could have and should have done more to stop the breakaway region from creating its own army.

RT

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The creation of Kosovo’s own 5,000-strong army is a threat to peace and security in a turbulent region and may lead to a new escalation, Russia’s UN envoy has warned, calling the EU’s lackluster response irresponsible.

Speaking at the UN Security Council emergency meeting on Kosovo, Russia’s ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzya said that the EU could have and should have done more to stop the breakaway region from creating its own army to replace its lightly armed emergency response force.

“The EU reaction to the decision by Pristina cannot be described as other than toothless. This irresponsible policy has crossed the line,” Nebenzya said, after the UNSC meeting on Monday.

The diplomat said the lack of decisive action on the part of the 28-member bloc was a “great disappointment,” adding that the EU seems to “have turned a blind eye on the illegal creation of Kosovo’s ‘army.’”

The law, approved by Kosovo lawmakers on Friday, paves the way for doubling the size of the current Kosovo Security Force and for turning it into a de facto army, with 5,000 soldiers and 3,000 reservists.

The move did not go down well even with Kosovo’s usual backers, with both NATO and the EU voicing their indignation. NATO’s General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg called the decision “ill-timed” and lamented that Kosovo’s authorities had ignored “the concerns expressed by NATO.”

The EU’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, has echoed those concerns, saying in a statement that the mandate of Kosovo’s forces “should only be changed through an inclusive and gradual process” in accordance with the state’s constitution.

The only nation to openly applaud the controversial move was the US, with its ambassador to Kosovo, Phillip Kosnett, saying that Washington “reaffirms its support” for the upgrade as it is “only natural for Kosovo as a sovereign, independent country” to have a full-fledged army.

The Kosovo MPs’ decision has drawn anger in the Serbian capital Belgrade and provoked a strong response from Moscow, which calledon the UN mission in Kosovo to demilitarize the area in accordance with UNSC resolution 1244, and to disband any armed units.

Nebenzya pointed out that the UN resolution does not allow any Kosovo Albanian military units to be present in the region’s territory. He accused Western countries, including members of the NATO-led international peacekeeping force (KFOR), of “condoning and supporting” the violation by Pristina of the resolution.

It is feared that the army, though a relatively small force, might inflame tensions in the region and impede attempts at reconciliation between Pristina and Belgrade. Serbia has warned that it might consider an armed intervention if the army becomes a threat to the 120,000-strong Serb minority in Kosovo.

“The advance of Kosovo’s army presents a threat to the peace and security in the region, which may lead to the recurrence of the armed conflict,” Nebenzya stated.

In addition to creating its own army, Kosovo in November hit Serbia with a 100 percent import tariff on goods, defying calls by the US and the EU to roll the measure back.

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Ukraine’s President Says “High” Threat Of Russian Invasion, Urges NATO Entry In Next 5 Years

Poroshenko is trying desperately to hold on to power, even if it means provoking Russia.

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Via Zerohedge


Perhaps still seeking to justify imposing martial law over broad swathes of his country, and attempting to keep international pressure and media focus on a narrative of “Russian aggression,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko denounced what he called the high “threat of Russian invasion” during a press conference on Sunday, according to Bloomberg.

Though what some analysts expected would be a rapid flair up of tit-for-tat incidents following the late November Kerch Strait seizure of three Ukrainian vessels and their crew by the Russian Navy has gone somewhat quiet, with no further major incident to follow, Poroshenko has continued to signal to the West that Russia could invade at any moment.

“The lion’s share of Russian troops remain” along the Russian border with Ukraine, Poroshenko told journalists at a press conference in the capital, Kiev. “Unfortunately, less than 10 percent were withdrawn,” he said, and added: “As of now, the threat of Russian troops invading remains. We have to be ready for this, we won’t allow a repeat of 2014.”

Poroshenko, who declared martial law on Nov. 26, citing at the time possible imminent “full-scale war with Russia” and Russian tank and troop build-up, on Sunday noted that he will end martial law on Dec. 26 and the temporarily suspended presidential campaign will kick off should there be no Russian invasion. He also previously banned all Russian males ages 16-60 from entering Ukraine as part of implementation of 30 days of martial law over ten provinces, though it’s unclear if this policy will be rescinded.

During his remarks, the Ukrainian president said his country should push to join NATO and the EU within the next five years, per Bloomberg:

While declining to announce whether he will seek a second term in the office, Poroshenko said that Ukraine should achieve peace, overcome the consequences of its economic crisis and to meet criteria to join the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during next five years.

But concerning both his retaining power and his ongoing “threat exaggeration” — there’s even widespread domestic acknowledgement that the two are clearly linked.

According to The Globe and Mail:

While Mr. Poroshenko’s domestic rivals accuse him of exaggerating the threat in order to boost his own flagging political fortunes — polls suggest Mr. Poroshenko is on track to lose his job in a March election — military experts say there are reasons to take the Ukrainian president’s warning seriously.

As we observed previously, while European officials have urged both sides to exercise restraint, the incident shows just how easily Russia and the West could be drawn into a military conflict over Ukraine.

Certainly Poroshenko’s words appear designed to telegraph just such an outcome, which would keep him in power as a war-time president, hasten more and massive western military support and aid, and quicken his country’s entry into NATO — the latter which is already treating Ukraine as a de facto strategic outpost.

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