The Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church will be working together to rebuild churches that have been destroyed by Muslims in Syria. The measure is the first result of Pope Francis’ meeting with the Patriarch of Russia, Kirill, as we read in one report:
Russia’s Catholic Church has launched a joint project with Russian Orthodox leaders to rebuild churches and monasteries destroyed during the war in Syria.
Mgr Igor Kovalevsky, secretary-general of the Russian bishops’ conference, said the project should be viewed as the “first concrete outcome” of Pope Francis’s February meeting in Cuba with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill.
The official also said the move did not indicate support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“While we’ve been in contact with the Assad government, this isn’t a political matter,” he told Catholic News Service.
Less than a week earlier, the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Moscow Patriarchate representatives announced the project. Mgr Kovalevsky said the announcement did not include details of money raised or the programme’s likely starting date.
“We hope all Russia’s denominations will actively help this work and all Christians participate in raising necessary funds,” Mgr Kovalevsky said.
“It’s very important that the Pope’s talks with the patriarch were observed by the whole world, thus focusing attention on the plight of Syria’s Christian communities. But we must occupy ourselves, as religious confessions, in settling this catastrophe with humanitarian aid and avoid being drawn into the politics.”