VATICAN CITY, APRIL 25, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II received the first volume of the Russian Catholic Encyclopedia and described it as a contribution to dialogue with that country´s rich culture.
On Tuesday the Pope received a group of academics and professors who are collaborating in writing the encyclopedia. They arrived with Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, metropolitan of the Diocese of the Mother of God in Moscow.
John Paul II, who understands Russian, said the work is a synthesis of "the tradition, life and doctrine of the Catholic Church."
"The encyclopedia you have prepared is an important contribution that Catholics wish to make to Russian speakers who want to study the treasures God has given men through his Church," he said.
"With this work, the Catholic community present in Russia for several centuries reaffirms its will to collaborate with the great Russian culture in order to engage in a profitable and fruitful dialogue with it for the benefit of the people that express it," the Pope added.
Lastly, he said he hoped that this effort "will serve to further reciprocal understanding and appreciation among those who live the Gospel of Christ in your beloved homeland."