MOSCOW, MARCH 1, 2002 ( The Russian Orthodox Church reacted harshly to the news that this Saturday, through a live video link, John Paul II will lead Russian Catholic youth in prayer in the Catholic cathedral of Moscow.

"One can only be astonished by the irrational persistence and determination with which the Vatican suggests different methods to mark, even if only symbolically, the Pope´s presence in Russia," said Orthodox Church spokesman Vsevolod Chaplin, in statements quoted by Interfax agency.


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