Von Rom nach Moskau

Einer der unerfüllten Träume des verstorbenen Papst Johannes Paul II. war, Moskau zu besuchen und eine Annäherung an die orthodoxe Kirche zu erreichen. Doch obwohl er von den letzten drei Präsidenten Russlands – Wladimir Putin, Boris Jelzin und Michail Gorbatschow – nach Moskau eingeladen wurde, hinderte der Widerstand des orthodoxen Patriarchen Alexej den Papst daran, diese Reise zu unternehmen, bevor er starb. Gelingt Papst Benedikt XVI. der Durchbruch, den sein Freund und Vorgänger nicht zu verwirklichen vermochte?

Trotz der vor kurzem erfolgten Rückgabe der Ikone der „Gottesmutter von Kazan“ an Russland, die einst in Johannes Pauls Schlafzimmer hing, bleiben die Beziehungen zwischen dem Vatikan und dem Patriarchat weiterhin angespannt. Daher ist der ansonsten oft allmächtig erscheinende Putin vorsichtig damit, eine Einladung an Papst Benedikt auszusprechen. Diese Vorsicht wird durch einen neuen politischen Faktor noch verstärkt: Der Schutz der Orthodoxie ist zu einer Säule der nationalen Idee geworden, die Putin als Legitimitätsgrundlage für sein Regime dienen soll.

Das ist ein Grund, warum Putin eines der wenigen Staatsoberhäupter war, die nicht zur Beisetzung von Papst Johannes Paul erschienen sind. Obwohl die orthodoxe Kirche eine Delegation schickte, warnte Patriarch Alexej unmittelbar nach der Beerdigung, dass die Unstimmigkeiten zwischen den beiden Strömungen des Christentums weit über die polnische Staatsangehörigkeit des ehemaligen Papstes hinausreichten, die immer einen besonders wunden Punkt für russisch-orthodoxe Slawen darstellte.

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