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Church in Russia: mgr. Pezzi (archbishop of Moscow), “a transition, from keeping the faith to announcing it”

The Catholic Church in Russia is having to face a “transition”, from “keeping the faith to announcing it”, or else between a stage of “reinstating the local church facilities” to “a normal, lively operation”. This is the topic addressed by the archbishop of Moscow, mgr. Paolo Pezzi, as he opened the fifth meeting of the directors of pastoral services of the diocese of Moscow, who meet every other year. “In the last 25 years, we have witnessed a veritable rebirth of religion”, a “literal resurrection of our churches and communities” so that now there is a will to “be involved in social life, by showing the moral value systems and by reporting vices”, even if “some results from this period may sound disheartening”, mgr. Pezzi argued: “Not all initiatives stood the test of time, some go on by force of habit, some very necessary ones have been thwarted by fear and uncertainty”. According to the archbishop, there is the risk of living “feeling that the present time is meaningless compared with the heroic time of persecution or the glorious time of rebirth”. The current time of “normalising our presence and our service in the community is a challenge”. That can only be faced if the pastoral service is driven by “Christ being amidst us, not by plans or organisational concerns”. “For us, today, in our places, evangelising” means “showing that Christ is alive”.

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