Monday, October 14, 2002

Vatican defends Church in Russia

In the latest in an increasingly bitter battle with Moscow, the Vatican on Monday denounced what it called a "despicable operation" to discredit the Roman Catholic Church in Russia. The statement by Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls followed an appeal to human rights groups last month by the head of the church in Russia against what he called a "large-scale anti-Catholic campaign." As examples, the Vatican statement cited the transformation of an apartment rented out for charitable purposes by the Fransican Order into a house of prostitution and Russian news reports depicting people in religious dress in "immoral poses."



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