HOLY COW! Something Apocryphal — Russian Patriarch to Visit Poland Day after Dormition

Hitting the news today is the report that Russian Patriarch Kiril I is visiting Poland this Thursday.

Reporting the story on the Russian Orthodox side is Prawoslawie:

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch of Moscow and all the Rus, Kirill I will come to Poland on Thursday on a visit which raises hopes for a new opening in the Polish-Russian relations.

During his visit, scheduled for Aug. 16-19, Kirill I and the head of the Conference of the Polish Episcopate Jozef Michalik will sign an address to both nations calling for mutual reconciliation and forgiveness.

The address may “open a new era in Polish-Russian bilateral relations,” the daily Polska The Times wrote citing head of Catholic information agency KAI Marcin Przeciszewski.

The address is compared to the letter of Polish Bishops to the German Bishops from 1965, which constituted a stepping stone in Polish-German reconciliation after the WWII.

Representatives of the Catholic Church in Poland say this will be an unprecedented event, and the first ever visit of the Russian Orthodox Church patriarch to Poland.

Russian Patriarch Kiril I (source: www.kremlin.ru)


It would take far too long to digress entirely into my thoughts here, but the best shorthand I can give is that for years I have considered Russia and Poland to be twin brothers in many respects throughout history. I mean twins like Romulus and Remus, other times merely brothers albeit like Cain and Abel. But, both having been brought to Christ have a new life, a new destiny. Sort of like Romulus and Remus forging the foundation of Rome, so it is with the eventual reconciliation of Poland and Russia to the rest of the world.

There’s a lot to this story. A lot.

Most notably, the Gospel for this past Sunday on the Eastern calendar is that parable of the unforgiving servant. Thus, in the Oriental Churches, the theme of this past week’s homilies were on forgiveness, and Wednesday’s Feast of the Dormition – a day on which both Russia and Poland have had numerous miracles at the hands of Our Lady – especially wherein Our Lady has shown great grace or miraculous protection on August 15th — long before there was a dogmatic pronouncement.

There’s something incredible afoot in this little act.


This article, HOLY COW! Something Apocryphal — Russian Patriarch to Visit Poland Day after Dormition is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benzinger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.
  • Interesting! A perhaps little known fact is that Patriarch Kirill was a sometime protege of Metropolitan Nikodim of Leningrad and Novogorad. Nikodim, though Russian Orthodox, was a great friend of the Russicum–the Pontifical Russian College–indeed probably the best. He was even an enthusiast of Our Lady’s apparition at Fatima and made a private pilgrimage there.

    Given Kirill’s pedigree under Nikodim (even Kirill was a sometime guest of the Catholics at the Russicum), this rapprochement seems to square. Certainly the frosty relations that have existed between Rome and Moscow are beginning to thaw. Perhaps Our Lady under her title of Fatima is still watching over Russia–to the point of bringing her ever closer to Rome.

  • Nice connection on the Fatima link. The other half of the story I wasn’t getting into on this was Fatima. Huge, huge, huge news. Such a small act, too. As my pastor said in his homily last weekend, forgiveness is an act that says the other person is more important to you than the problem.

  • I still prefer the policy of “reductio ad obedientiam.” Just sayin’.

  • with the Russian Orthodox there’s a different dynamic because they became their own thing in 1589 – and recognized as such by the four other patriarchs. It’s a different creature because it was born out of the Orthodox, remained Orthodox, even in the face of Stalin, Ivan III, and several others. The only thing they didn’t seem to weather well was when, in 1650, Patriarch Nikon said they should sign themselves with three fingers (like Greeks), and that’s when they had a liturgical schism not unlike the various Latin Mass schisms of today (nothing new under the sun). The point is that “obedentiam” is not a razor apropos to patriarchs — that’s for bishops to their patriarch. There’s a different dynamic not easily expressed in the modern populist autocracratic metaphor for the Pope. Yes, the Pope is the final authority on earth. But what that means for a Patriarch, among Patriarchs, is not autocratic.

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