Letter #12, 2017: A Communist Ecumenist?

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March 27, 2017, Monday — A Communist Ecumenist? Zyuganov on the Split between Eastern and Western Christianity I have been trying to drive home one fundamental point for more than 20 years now, both in the pages of Inside the Vatican magazine, and in the work of the Urbi et Orbi Foundation which seeks to […]

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Letter #11, 2017: Meet an Extraordinary Man This Week in DC

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March 19, 2017, Sunday — Meet an Extraordinary Man This Week in Washington D.C. Meet an Extraordinary Archbishop this Week in Washington D.C. “His name is Thaddeus” An extraordinary archbishop got on an airplane today in the the former East bloc to fly to Washington D.C. He will land in D.C. tonight. His name is […]

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Letter #6b, 2017: Steve Bannon, in his own words

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January 31, 2017, Tuesday — “The flower of mankind” “Our forefathers… were able to bequeath to us a Church and a civilization that really is the flower of mankind.” — Steve Bannon, top advisor to US President Donal Trump, in 2014, speaking from Los Angeles to a Vatican conference on global poverty and on how […]

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Letter #53, 2016: Rome to Russia

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August 29, 2016, Monday — Rome-Moscow Exchange Intensifies “May the Holy Mother of God, our common heavenly Mother, keep all of us and cover us from all evil.’” —Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the Department of External Relations of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow, speaking to a dozen visitors from Rome, his guests for […]

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Letter #49, 2016: Again, Russia….

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July 29, 2016, Friday — Again, Russia… Earthen Vessels…. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves.” —2 Corinthians 4:7 “As light was the beginning of the first creation; so, in the new creation, the light of the Spirit is […]

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News From The East

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Russian Orthodox Patriarch Declares Worldwide “Holy War” on Terrorism The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has called the fight against terrorism a “holy war” and urged international unity and an abandoning of double standards to defeat this global evil. “Today, when our warriors take part in combat operations in the Middle East, we know […]

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Letter #41, 2016: Concert in Palmyra

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May 5, 2016, Thursday — A Russian Concert in Palmyra, Syria, Contains a Message to the West The Diplomacy of Music As I write this, a renowned Russian conductor is conducting an orchestral concert called “Prayer for Palmyra: Music Revives Ancient Ruins” in the ruins of the ancient desert city of Palmyra in war-torn Syria. […]

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Letter #23, 2016: Croatia: A Prime Minister’s Visit

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April 7, 2016, Thursday — The Problem, and the Opportunity, of the Stepinac Case Croatian Prime Minister Meets Pope Francis Croatia’s new Prime Minister, Tihomir Oreskovic (photo) is in Rome today to meet with Pope Francis. The meeting took place this morning. (link) Reports prior to the meeting said that among the subjects of his […]

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Letter #22, 2016: Ukraine: An Ambassador’s Visit

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April 6, 2016, Wednesday — A Religious “Off-Ramp” for Ukraine? US Ambassador Pyatt Visits Rome An American official has made a quiet, important visit to the Vatican to discuss the situation in Ukraine. In a visit that has received no press attention up until now, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt (photo) was in […]

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Letter #8, 2016: The Pope and Kirill Will Meet in Cuba

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February 5, 2016, Friday — Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill Will Meet in Cuba on February 12, 2016. IMPORTANT PRESS COMMUNIQUE FROM THE VATICAN Joint Press Release of the Holy See and of the Patriarchate of Moscow The Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow are pleased to announce that, by the grace of God, […]

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In Defense of What Has Been Believed “Always, Everywhere, By All”

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An interview of Bishop Athanasius Schneider about the SSPX, women and footwashing, the consecration of Russia, anti-pastoral bishops, and more We do not endorse unreservedly every statement of Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Mary Most Holy in Astana, Kazakhstan. However, Schneider’s voice has become an influential one in the Church, especially […]

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Letter #7, 2016: A Pope-Patriarch Kirill Meeting in… Cuba?

January 26, 2016, Tuesday — Will Pope Francis Meet Kirill in… Cuba? “Everyone knows that he is the Pope of surprises. If he wants to make a change to his schedule, he will certainly do so.” —Captain Domenico Giani, head of the Vatican’s security force, after visiting Mexico recently to prepare the Pope’s February 12-18 […]

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Letter #1, 2016: Beginning with Mary

January 1, 2016, Friday — Pope Begins 2016 with Visit to St. Mary Major “The Son of God, made incarnate for our salvation, has given us his Mother, who joins us on our pilgrimage through this life, so that we may never be left alone, especially at times of trouble and uncertainty.”—Pope Francis, at a […]

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Letter #55, 2015: A Vatican-Russian Concert

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December 17, 2015, Tuesday — A Vatican-Russian Concert There was a remarkable “ecumenical” concert in Rome this evening at 8:30 p.m. in the Apse of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, often called “the Mother and Head of all churches in Rome and in the World” because it is the oldest and ranks first among […]

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Letter #47, 2015: From Russia to Rome

October 23, 2015, Friday — From Russia to Rome “The word mother can be traced back cleanly to Proto-Indo-European, as can father, brother and sister — it appears in cognate form in languages like Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and so forth, and it may go back further.” —Discussion of the origin of the word “mother” on […]

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Letter #42, 2015: Mortality

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October 7, 2015, Wednesday — Mortality “Every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes.” —Pope Francis, on Thursday, September 24, in his address to the U.S. Congress during his visit to America; he called for the “global […]

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Letter #29, 2015: Thaw in Russia?

June 28, 2015, Sunday — Pope-Patriarch Meeting “On Agenda,” Hilarion Says Are Rome and Moscow growing closer, despite US-led Western efforts to isolate Russia with recently renewed economic sanctions? A new interview published this morning in Italy suggests strongly that the answer is “Yes.” Following a lightning visit three weeks ago (June 10) of Russian […]

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Letter #22, 2015: Putin and Pope Francis

June 10, 2015, Wednesday — Putin and Pope Francis President Putin came to Pope Francis this evening to speak about possible pathways to peace in Ukraine and the Middle East. Putin, who had been in Milan in northern Italy at a major international exposition on food worldwide, arrived a little after 6 p.m. — about […]

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Letter #19, 2015: Ukraine

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May 26, 2015, Tuesday — Dry Tinder On May 24-25, the IX sessional meeting of the Ordinary Council of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops of the Catholic Church was held at the Vatican. The meeting was chaired by Pope Francis. The meeting agenda included preparation of a draft text Instrumentum Laboris (“Guideline of […]

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Letter # 46, 2014: 1st Annual Dinner

December 15, 2014, Monday — 1st Annual Dinner “How did it happen that the country known as ‘Holy Russia’, with such a long history of Orthodox Christianity, was, in a very short period of time, turned by the Bolsheviks into ‘the first atheist state in the world’?” —Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, the “Foreign Minister” of the […]

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