Posted by: fvbcdm | September 4, 2014

Feast of Pope Saint Gregory the Great (3 September 2014)

Today my travel group and I leave on our trip to Russia.  We will fly to Saint Petersburg where we go aboard a river cruiser for a 2-week cruise along Russia’s rivers, canals, and lakes, while visiting the major cities of Saint Petersburg and Moscow and a number of other towns and villages in between.  It promises to be a really memorable experience. I ask your prayers for the safety of my travel companions and myself on our journey.

While we are in Russia, we will find very few Roman Catholics; after seventy years of Marxist Leninism, many of the people are simply atheistic or agnostic. Religion is just not important in their lives. Those who are Christian usually belong to the Russian Orthodox church, since, other than the 70 years of Communism, that has been the state Church for centuries. The Orthodox Church is very close to Catholicism, and we pray that it will before long be reunited with us. But the Orthodox went into what is called schism way back in the year 1054, and since then, there has been antipathy between the two groups.  They have the true doctrines and the valid sacraments of the Church which Our Divine Lord founded. But they will not recognize or accept the Pope as the successor of Saint Peter and therefore the head of the entire Christian community. Recently, since the collapse of Communism and the reemergence of Christianity in Russia, there has been a problem because the Catholic Church has established four dioceses in what used to be the Soviet Union—an enormous land mass with hundreds of millions of inhabitants.  The Church did so to care for the Catholics now living there. However, the Orthodox church resents what it calls our intrusion into their territory, and accuses the Catholic Church of trying to lure souls away from Orthodoxy into Catholicism. Therefore, the relations are strained right now between Rome and Orthodoxy. We on the trip will be praying fervently for the reunion of the two bodies, as the recent Popes have so much wanted and worked for. Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This Message was composed some years ago.

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