Russian Envoy Extols Dialogue for Unity

Presents Analysis of Moscow-Vatican Relations

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ROME, OCT. 27, 2006 ( Through dialogue Christianity can once again become a factor of unity, says the ambassador representing Russia before the Holy See.

Nikolay Sadchikov, speaking at the presentation of a book on the relations between the Catholic Church and Russia, said: "We represent the two main branches of Christianity that, in my opinion, are in great need of joining forces to consolidate Christian morality and values in peoples' minds and hearts.

"In the void of ideologies, the Christian faith must become, as it was centuries ago, a factor of unity."

The event on Oct. 20 introduced the volume "Santa Sede e Russia. Da Leone XIII a Pio XI" (The Holy See and Russia from Leo XIII to Pius XI), written by Massimiliano Valente and published in Italian by the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences.

The Russian ambassador described the book as a "joint scientific work of historians of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Vatican, dedicated to the stages of development of the not always easy relations between Russia and the Holy See."

"Dialogue, especially with the participation of historians, is an important instrument of communication which allows for better mutual knowledge and understanding," added Sadchikov.

In regard to Russian-Vatican relations, the ambassador said: "Although traditionally the shadow of religious difficulties was always coloring them, in my opinion they are developing positively."

The presentation at the Teutonic College was attended by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, Monsignor Walter Brandmüller, president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, and Archbishop Claudio Celli, secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.

Massimiliano Valente is a professor of political science at St. Mary of the Assumption University of Rome and an official of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences.

The volume includes the minutes of the symposium held in Vienna in 2001 on relations between Russia and the Holy See.