Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Patriarch awards Vatican representative for strengthening Orthodox-Catholic relations

Alexy II awards Vatican representative in Russia an order of merit for strengthening Orthodox-Catholic relations

Moscow, September 4, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia has awarded Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the Holy See representative in Russia, the Order of the Holy Prince Daniel of Moscow, third degree.

Archbishop Mennini is thus awarded ‘in recognition of his efforts for establishing good relations between the Russian Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches and on the occasion of his 60th birthday’, the official site of the Moscow Patriarchate has reported on Tuesday.

The award was present to the archbishop on September 3 at the apostolic nunciate in Moscow by Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, and Rev. Igor Vyzhanov, DECR secretary for inter-Christian relations.

Mgr Mennini was appointed the Vatican’s representative in Russia in November 2002 by the late Pope John Paul II.

Archbishop Mennini was born on September 2, 1947, in Rome. On December 14, 1974, he was ordained priest, and in April 1981 he entered upon the Holy See’s diplomatic service.

He served in the Vatican’s embassies in Uganda and Turkey and later in the Vatican’s state secretariat. On July 1, 2000, the Pope of Rome appointed him his representative in Bulgaria and in September of the same year he was elevated to the rank of archbishop.

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