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article imageVideo: Polish and Russian church leaders sign agreement

By Paul Iddon     Aug 18, 2012 in Religion
The heads of both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Polish Roman Catholic Church have signed an appeal for the "forgiveness of wrongs, injustice and every committed against each other."
BBC News and the Washington Post have reported that the appeal document for reconciliation between these two churches was signed by Russia's Patriarch Kirill and Polish Archbishop Jozef Michalik.
In the appeal both leaders stated that, "We are certain that this is the first and the most important step toward rebuilding mutual trust, which is a necessary element of a lasting community and full reconciliation between people."
This development comes after three days of talks between the two churches which have for centuries been traditional rivals. Even in recent years relations have been tense. The Orthodox Church has in the past prevented the late Pope John Paul II from visiting Russia and have accused the Vatican of slyly trying to convert residents of traditionally Orthodox areas.
This historic document was signed shortly before three members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot were convicted on the charge of 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred'.
The two church leaders also vowed to defend "the right to religion being present in public life," adding that they "are witnesses to the promotion of abortion, euthanasia, homosexual marriages and consumerism." They claim that, "Traditional values are being rejected and religious symbols being removed from public spaces."
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