Religious Liberties Not Suppressed in Russia - Vatican Ambassador

Moscow, Russia - Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the Holy See’s representative in Russia, has said he does not share the U.S. Congress’s criticism of an alleged suppression of religious freedoms in Russia. From his point of view, Russian legislation is optimal for Russia’s Catholics.

In mid-March the House of Representatives passed a resolution, claiming once again that the rights of believers are being violated and religious liberties restricted in Russia.

“Unfortunately, I am not informed of the facts which prompted the U.S. Congress to come up with such claims. I am glad to state that Russia’s current legislation provides real opportunities for the normal existence in Russia of Roman Catholic Church communities and for their development,” Archbishop Mennini said in an interview with Interfax.

The Catholic parishes and communities, as well as educational centers and charitable organizations, are “not fettered by any inside or outside restrictions,” he said.

Archbishop Mennini pointed out that, “The current mechanism of settling individual local conflicts is effective enough to achieve the desired and legal result in nearly all cases.”

Mennini said that, “Sharp public accusations, as a way of settling problems, usually bring about temporary advantages, but do not facilitate building reliable partnership relations.”