RELIGIONS AND SOCIETY: CHURCH OF ST NICHOLAS TO BE DELIVERED TO RUSSIAN PEOPLE NEXT SATURDAY 6 DECEMBER

"It is not an episode but the ending point of a continuous pilgrimage Russian people are living in Bari" for their profound devotion to St Nicholas, the beacon of the Orthodox spirituality." With these words Mgr Francesco Cacucci, Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto, tells the SIR the "ecumenical" value of the Church St Nicholas in Bari (corso Alcide De Gasperi), erected on the avenue built by the tsar at the beginning of the XX century for the Russian pilgrims en route to Bari to adore the relics of St Nicholas. The Russian government will receive the Church from the Italian government in a ceremony that will take place on 6 December, Feast of St Nicholas, said the Archbishop. Giorgio Napolitano President of the Italian Republic and Dmitri Medvedev President of Russia will both attend the ceremony together with Cardinal Salvatore De Giorni, representing the Holy See, and Kirill, Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad and head of the Department of External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate. Mgr Cacucci said in this occasion Cardinal De Giorgi will pass onto the metropolitan Kirill Pope Benedict XVI’s personal message to Patriarch Alexi II. As for Saturday ceremony, "there is an ecumenism of people which precedes and accompanies the ecumenism of the heads of the Churches who gather to reach out for unity," Mgr Cacucci declares. (continued)

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