Parolin says “urgency of finding peace” key aim of visit to Russia

(Crux) While President Donald Trump issues threats toward the East, promising “fire and fury” on North Korea and increasing economic sanctions in Russia, the Vatican prepares for an important step forward for it’s relations with the Kremlin.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, will be visiting Moscow at the end of August (21-24) to formalize the olive branch that Pope Francis has been extending toward President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church.

The diplomatic visit is the latest episode in an ongoing effort on the part of the Vatican to initiate an ‘encounter’ – to use a term dear to the pope – with the Russians.

Already in late 2013, Putin credited Pope Francis with helping to head off an anti-Assad Western offensive in Syria and not long after, the Vatican was cautious in condemning Russia’s aggressive claim on the Ukrainian region of Crimea, in an effort to not burn the carefully built bridges. [More]