The Kremlin has long worked to polish Russian President Vladimir Putin’s image as a Christian leader in the image of the former tsars. The Russian Orthodox Church enjoys a close relationship with the Russian leadership; the two entities help each other maintain power.
The Vatican has given Putin a shot in the arm regarding this effort, as Putin readies to meet Pope Francis in Italy during a state visit.
The Vatican considers Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘a man of faith’ with shared Christian values, The Holy See’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin stated in the run-up to Putin’s upcoming meeting with Pope Francis, reported Russian state news outlet TASS.
“The Russian president is considered to be a man of faith, and I think that he recognizes the values important to him personally as being embodied in the Pope,” the Vatican News website quotes Parolin as saying.
“Besides, Russia pays special attention to such issues as protection of Christians in the Middle East and the crisis of Christian values in Western society,” the Cardinal stated. “This meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss these issues, as well as the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria,” Parolin added.
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