People's party of Russia protests against Vatican expansion

The People's Party of Russia is voicing a protest against the Vatican's decision to establish a metropolitanate and four Catholic dioceses in Russia, Valery Galchenko, a State Duma deputy and a Party leader, said at a news conference Thursday.

In a statement, signed by Party leader and chairman of the People's Deputy parliamentary group Gennady Raikovsky, the Party comes up in support for the Russian Orthodox Church's stances on the matter. The Vatican cannot be reproached as far as liberal law goes, admitted Mr Galchenko. What caused his perplexity was the fact that the decision had not been agreed on with the Russian Orthodox Church.

With the Vatican being not merely the centre of the Catholicism, but an independent state, the opening of the metropolitanate and dioceses means the emergence of the foreign state's province in Russia, according to Mr Galchenko. The People's Party of Russia regards the Vatican's action as a territorial expansion.

A peaceful and authorised resistance, among other things by putting pressure on the Russian authorities, will be our response to the Vatican, according to Valentin Lebedev, Chairman of the Union of Orthodox People. A protest action will take place near the Vatican representation in Moscow on February 22.

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