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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

Archbishop Kondrusiewicz “Disappointed” with Putin

by Christopher A. Ferrara

On July 2, 2002 Zenit reported that Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz has expressed the view that “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s silence in the face of the Pope’s plea over an expelled bishop is disappointing…”

Notice, first of all, that Zenit, following the Vatican diplomatic line, refers to Archbishop Kondrusiewicz as “the Catholic archbishop in Moscow” (my emphasis). That is, there is no Catholic Archbishop of Moscow, since the Vatican does not wish to offend the Russian Orthodox Church by appearing to assert jurisdiction over Russian territory.

At any rate, Archbishop Kondrusiewicz was referring to the case of Polish Bishop Jerzy Mazur, head of the Diocese of Irkutsk in Siberia, whose visa was revoked after he was placed on a list of “undesirables”. As Zenit notes, “Weeks before, the same thing happened to Italian Father Stefano Caprio, a missionary. Both measures were taken following the institution of four Catholic dioceses in Russia, and the ensuing protest of the head of the Orthodox Church.”

Archbishop Kondrusiewicz complains that “President Putin’s lack of response to the Holy Father’s letter, in which he requested an intervention in favor of Mazur so that he could return to his diocese, has greatly disappointed me, also as a Russian citizen. I hope that my president, for whom I pray, will realize that the Pontiff is also a head of state…”

But the Practicing Christian (as the Fatima revisionist dupes like to describe him) has yet to be heard from. Not even a personal letter from the Pope can stir the Practicing Christian from his silence — which speaks volumes about the state of Russia some 18 years after its supposed “consecration” to the Immaculate Heart.

Archbishop Kondrusiewicz said he has been able to meet with “some Orthodox bishops and priests who have expressed keen concern over this expulsion, as it is a conflict between the two Churches that represent the Christian world.” The two Churches that represent the “Christian world”? Whatever happened to the dogma that the Catholic Church alone is the one true Church of Christ? And what are to we make of this “keen concern” of unnamed Orthodox clergy? Have these Orthodox bishops and priests made protest to the Practicing Christian? I rather doubt it.

Archbishop Kondrusiewicz is now reduced to observing that “there is increasing awareness of the need to resolve jointly the questions that divide us, ranging from the accusations of proselytism leveled against us to interpretations of a theological kind.” So, the attempt to make converts for the Catholic Church is now regarded by the Vatican as a dire accusation against the Church instead of the very fulfillment of Her divine commission, while major doctrinal differences with the Orthodox have become “interpretations of a theological kind.”

And what has this kind of unwarranted solicitude for schismatics gained us? It has gained us the expulsion of a Catholic bishop who presided over the single largest group of Catholics in Russia. And all Archbishop Kondrusiewicz can say is that he is “disappointed”. Behold the fruits of forty years of “ecumenical dialogue”. Behold the fruits of the “consecration of Russia” — in which Russia was deliberately not mentioned.