Pope to meet Patriarch Kirill
Welcome to this week’s European Churches Chronicle. We’ve changed the format of the “Saint of the Week” section a little to make it an easier read. Let us know if you like it!
News in brief.
Pope will meet Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in the summer. Russian news agency Tass confirmed that a second meeting will take place in the summer between Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. The location for the meeting has not been confirmed. Read more.
Trial ends of Finnish Christian politician accused of hate crime. The last day of the trail of Christian Democrat politician Päivi Räsänen saw her receive 14,000 signatures of public support in a campaign by US pastor Andrew Brunson. Päivi Räsänen is on trail for allegedly inciting hatred towards gay people in Finland in statements she claims were reflecting biblical views on sexuality. She risks two years imprisonment under Finnish laws on crimes against humanity. The verdict is expected on 30 March. Read more.
Limit yourself to 10 clothing items to tackle climate change says Christian charity. Christian charity Tearfund has launched a month-long “Great Fashion Fast” campaign to encourage people to limit their wardrobe to just ten items. The campaign is intended to highlight the environmental impact of “fast fashion”, with as many as 57% of people owning new clothes they have never worn. Read more.
Spotlight on Bratislava.
St Martin’s Cathedral (Rudnayovo námestie 1). Bratislava’s principal Roman Catholic cathedral dominates the city with its soaring Renaissance architecture. It was the coronation venue for many of the rulers of the Habsburg dynasty, and houses a well-known baroque statue of St Martin of Tours by Austrian sculptor, G.R. Donner.
Maly Kostol (literally “Small Church”) (Panenská 671, 811 03) is a Lutheran church in the heart of Bratislava which, in order to conform to regulations governing the construction of Lutheran churches in the Austro-Hungarian empire, was built with no external features to indicate it is a church. The small church interior is dominated by a baroque altarpiece, as well as a large painting by Slovakian artist Janka Krivošová that depicts the centuries-long struggle of Lutherans in the the region.
Three things about Saint Polycarp (23 February)
Born just 60 years after Jesus died, Polycarp was one of the first Christian bishops of Smyrna, and is recognised as one of the early leaders of the Christian church.
Polycarp is believed to have been a disciple of John the apostle.
He travelled to Rome where he came under suspicion and was sentenced to death by burning for refusing to recognise Marcus Aurelius’s divinity by lighting incense in his name.
Picture credits: Saint Polycarp. Engraving. Wellcome Collection, United Kingdom | graphic design by European Churches Chronicle.