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  Tuesday, November 19, 2019
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The Moscow Patriarchate thanks the Vatican for the return to Russia of "one of the latest copies of the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan"
The Moscow Patriarchate thanks the Vatican for the return to Russia of "one of the latest copies of the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan" scheduled for August 26 and expects "more significant steps" aimed at the Orthodox-Catholic settlement. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy head of the external church relations department of the Moscow Patriarchate, said this in a RIA Novosti interview on Thursday calling the icon's return "a symbolic act." According to the archpriest, he means giving up missionary and proselyte activities among Orthodox believers and improving their status in Western Ukraine. "Many icons and other shrines, which were taken away during the times of persecution of the church, are coming back to Russia. This copy of the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan will be among them soon," said the source. According to him, Russian and Vatican experts agreed that it was painted in the 18th century. "Our believers rejoice at the return of all shrines because our ancestors used to pray before them," Vsevolod Chaplin said. "Meanwhile, the return of this icon to Russia is both a goodwill and justice act," he noted. After the war the icon belonged to some private person in the United States. Orthodox believers wanted to redeem it but failed to collect enough money. The icon was purchased by the Blue Army Catholic organization. After that, the shrine was brought to Fatima (Portugal). In the last eleven years it was kept in the Pope's apartment.
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