Readers of George Weigel’s Storm Clouds in Ukraine (yesterday’s “On the Square” article), will be interested in two stories from Ukraine: the short news announcement Pope Benedict XVI to visit Ukraine in 2012 and the description of the Russian Orthodox Church’s reaction, Moscow Patriarchate: Catholic festivities not best occasion for Pope’s visit to Ukraine.
The pope will be going at the invitation of the Catholic bishops there to celebrate the 600th anniversary of Lviv’s becoming the metropolitan see (the Catholic capital city, so to speak). This
“is not the best occasion for the Pontiff’s visit to the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church,” Dmitry Sizonenko, acting secretary for inter-Christian relations of the Moscow Patriarchate’s External Church Relations Department, told Interfax-Religion (www.interfax-religion.ru).
While relations between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches have improved a lot, this
has not eased the poignancy of the unsettled situation in Ukraine’s western regions. It is the most painful aspect in our relations. There is however every reason to hope that these problems will be resolved, the Vatican demonstrates a greater understanding today of the Moscow Patriarchate’s position,” Father Dmitry said.
That is probably true, but it’s a question whether the Moscow Patriarchate demonstrates a greater understanding of the Vatican’s position. Storm Clouds in Ukraine will help explain this.
Update: After you finish “Storm Clouds” you will want to read his Troubles in Ukraine, published by National Review Online.