An Italian citizen was arrested trying to smuggle two icons out of St. Petersburg, the Northwestern Customs Department said on Monday. "Icons of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker and Our Lady of Tikhvin were found in the Italian's luggage. He tried to use the green corridor and declared nothing. The Italian did not have permission to take out the cultural valuables," the department said. A criminal case may be opened on contraband charges.
Secretary of State of His Holiness the Pope Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone will visit for the first time Belarus at the invitation of the Belarusian government on June 18.
"State Secretary of Pope Benedict XVI Bertone will visit Belarus on June 18 - 22 at the invitation of the Belarusian government," Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Minsk and Mogilyov, told a news conference in Minsk on Thursday. The program of the visit provides for meetings with Belarusian authorities, as well as religious figures.
The Shroud of Turin, a cloth widely believed to be the burial linen of Jesus, will be put on exposition in the spring of 2010, announced Benedict XVI.
The Pope divulged the news today upon receiving in audience some 7,000 faithful from the Archdiocese of Turin. Prior to the audience, Cardinal Severino Poletto, archbishop of Turin, had celebrated Mass for the pilgrims in St. Peter's Basilica.
The Church and the Russian Orthodox have been growing closer together in friendship and in the desire to promote common values, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope said this in a letter he sent to Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia. The letter was delivered by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, during his 10-day visit to Russia, which ends today.
The trip was undertaken at the invitation of Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, the president of the Department of External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate, reported the pontifical council.
Russian Ambassador A.V.Konuzin in Gracanica: “Together with the Serbs, We are Defending International Law“4. June 2008 - 9:33
"In Kosovo and Metochia the Russian Federation is defending not only its Serbian friends - together with the Serbs, we are defending International Law and as long as the Serbs are defending their interests, Russia will be on their side'', said Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Vasilyevich Konuzin. He visited Gracanica today and on the occasion met with representatives of the Kosovo Serbs, to whom he expressed that Russia was having an absolutely clear and firm position on Kosovo, and that the solution to the Kosovo problem should be searched for exclusively within the decisions of the Security Council of the United Nations. "We believe that this is an unalienable part of Serbia. The solution to the problem of Kosovo should be searched for within the decisions of the Security Council of the United Nations, and these are within Resolution 1244. Any other steps represent a violation of International Law as well as a violation of the Charter of the United Nations'', Konuyin pointed out. Besides meeting representatives of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohia, the Russian Ambassador also had meetings with UNMIK leading officials and the commander of KFOR.
Source: KIM Radio
"The last Serbs are being driven out from Kosovo. I know what the situation is like there.There are no refugees coming back to Kosovo. And you can't guarantee them security and a civilized existence on that territory'', Vladimir Putin said in an interview to " Le Monde'', in occasion of his first visit to France as Prime Minister.
Mr. Putin reacted to a question related to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which the journalist called "separatis regions", by saying: "You said separatist? Why didn't you use this word about Kosovo?" "You cannot answer, and this is because you do not have an answer," Putin continued.
When the journalist remarked that "in Abkhazia, it was
the Georgians who had been ethnically cleansed, while in Kosovo, the situation
was quite the opposite since it was the Albanians that were exposed to this
practice", Putin answered that the two things were "not at all
opposite" and that "thousands of Serbs can't return to Kosovo. Hundreds of
thousands. It's exactly the same. Where did you see refugees coming back to
Kosovo? Nothing similar is happening" he continued. "Don't tell me
stories, I know what is really going on there."
From: Lj. Milinčić