La distancia entre la primera y la tercera Roma

MOSCÚ/ROMA: Durante una década el Papa Juan Pablo II ha estado volando en círculos alrededor de la Madre Rusia. Un día visita los países bálticos o su nativa Polonia; al siguiente, va a las ortodoxas Rumania y Georgia. En junio de 2001, el Papa visitará Ucrania y Armenia, ambas parte de la ex Unión Soviética y vigiladas cautelosamente por la Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa. Karol Wojtyla, el primer Papa eslavo de la historia, ha soñado desde hace mucho con visitar Moscú. De hecho, puede ser que considere esa visita como el toque final a su largo y turbulento pontificado. Sin embargo, diez años después de la caída del comunismo, son los eclesiásticos rusos, no los políticos, quienes están poniendo obstáculos.

De Kruschev en adelante, los gobernantes soviéticos veían al Vaticano con suspicacia pero no sin interés. Los líderes del Kremlin comprendían instintivamente los beneficios de normalizar sus relaciones con la Santa Sede para efectos de propaganda soviética y política exterior, y de hecho hubo encuentros entre el Papa y Andrei Gromyko y Nikolai Podgorny. Sin embargo, no fue sino hasta 1989 que Mijail Gorbachev se atrevió a establecer relaciones oficiales con el Vaticano e invitó al Papa Juan Pablo II a visitar la Unión Soviética.

Boris Yeltsin reiteró la invitación en 1991, y Vladimir Putin hizo lo mismo durante su visita a Roma, poco tiempo después de su toma de posesión como Presidente de Rusia. Sin embargo, no ha habido ninguna visita papal a Moscú porque la Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa se sigue oponiendo.

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