Former Nuncio in Russia, which was a breakthrough in the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, transferred to work in the Vatican

London. 20 Jan. INTERFAX – Ambassador of the Holy see in the UK for eight years before that, held the post of Nuncio in Russia, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, transferred to work in the state Secretariat of the Vatican.

British cardinal Vincent Nicholas, who was quoted on Friday, the website of the newspaper “The Catholic Herald”, praised A. Mennini, noting his “unique experience and knowledge.”

The Department of state, where now will the Nuncio is, in fact, the government of the Vatican. About the position it will occupy A. Mennini, not yet reported.

The period of work of the Archbishop in Moscow was marked by a significant warming in relations between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, which in the early 2000-ies, according to the hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate, was “on break”. One of the main problems was the active missionary work of Catholics in Russia, in the Russian Church for a long time reproached the Vatican.

Meanwhile, A. Mennini, almost from the first days of his tenure as Nuncio in Moscow has emphasized the importance of a respectful relationship of Catholics to the Orthodox Church tradition.

He has repeatedly supported the Russian Church in its social initiatives. Thus, the Archbishop welcomed the ideas of introducing in the Russian army Institute of chaplains and of the teaching of “Fundamentals of Orthodox culture”. He also disagreed with the reproaches of the Moscow Patriarchate, in the “clericalism” of society.

A. Archbishop Mennini was born on 2 September 1947 in Rome. 14 December 1974, was ordained priest, and in April 1981 he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy see.

At different times served in Vatican embassies in Uganda and Turkey, the state Secretariat of the Vatican. 1 July 2000 the Pope appointed him as his representative in Bulgaria, and in September of the same year, A. Mennini, was elevated to the rank of Archbishop.