Atila S. Guimarães - March 15, 2002
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It is well known that John Paul II wants to hand over the icon of Our Lady of Kazan to the Schismatic Church of Russia. In the 70s’ the International Blue Army, a wealthy organization, purchased the icon of Our Lady of Kazan, patroness of Russia that had been smuggled to the West to escape the Communist persecution. The principal aim of this organization was to spread devotion to and the message of Our Lady of Fatima. The purchase was made for a very noble purpose: when Russia would convert, as Our Lady foretold at Fatima, the Blue Army would return the Sacred Icon to that country. It would be a first gesture to signify the establishment of the reign of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, also prophesized also by Our Lady in 1917.
I consider that the Russian Schismatic Church continues to profess its old errors. That is to say, it continues to deny the Filioque in the Trinitarian procession, the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, the Pontifical Monarchy, and Papal Infallibility. The denial of any one of these dogmas is sufficient in itself to transform the schism to heresy. Therefore, in no way can one speak seriously of the conversion of the Russian Schismatics. John Paul II, on the contrary, considers that the Schismatics have already converted and for this reason, he wants to hand over the icon of Kazan to them. It is truly shameful and absurd that a Pope would leave aside Catholic dogma and want to carry out such an act.
The irony of the question is that the more John Paul II insists upon handing over the icon, the more the Schismatics want to avoid meeting with him to receive it. In fact, he suggested that this delivery be made during his recent trip to the Ukraine. The only condition set was that Alexis II should go to the Ukraine to meet John Paul II, or send a delegate to whom the icon most probably would have been delivered. The head of the Russian Schismatic Church spurned these invitations.
In response to Vatican overtures, Alexis II delivers insults - 30 Giorni, April 2002
Recently a visit of Cardinal Walter Kasper to Moscow was announced. The visit of the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity was planned from February 21-22. The purpose of the visit was to arrange the details for an eventual visit of John Paul II to Moscow and, as part of the bargain, he would deliver the icon of Kazan to the Schismatics (Zenit, February 1, 2002).
On the vespers of Kasper’s visit, the Vatican received two slaps in the face from the Russian Schismatic Church.
The first: On February 17, ultra-nationalists joined forces with the Russian “Orthodox” Church to criticize the Catholic Church for its “proselytism” in this country.. Parliament’s lower chamber, the Duma, decided that its Committee on Religious Associations and Organizations should study “the situation created by the active proselytism of the Catholic Church in traditionally Orthodox territories,” Itar-Tass reported. The decision came at the request of Duma’s vice president, ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zirinovski.
Among other things, Zirinovski requested that entry visas not be issued to representatives of the Vatican and the four Catholic Dioceses established in Russia. The “Orthodox” patriarchate strongly criticized the decision of John Paul II to set up the Dioceses. The Duma will question the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about any possible offenses against the freedom of conscience committed by the Catholic Church in former Soviet republics (Zenit, February 17, 2002). It doesn’t take much intelligence to realize that this action was an anticipative response to Kaspar’s visit.
The second: On February 20, a Russian Schismatic leader asked the Interpol, International policy agency, to seize the icon of Kazan from the papal apartments. Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk charged that the icon of Our Lady of Kazan had been “stolen” from the Russian Church. He asked the Interpol to recover it “by whatever means are necessary” (Catholic World News, February 20, 2002). Who can doubt that this accusation is a strong negative reaction to the announced desire of John Paul II for reconciliation with the Russian Schismatic Church?
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