The Russian Orthodox Observers at Vatican II in the Context of Soviet Religious Politics
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This chapter focuses on the observers from the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) at Vatican II. Special attention is paid to the process of sending out invitations, treatment of observers at the Council, tensions in relations between ROC observers and other observers, and personalities of two ROC observers—Fr. Vitalij Borovoj and Fr. Vladimir Kotliarov. Besides the value of historical reconstruction of the events surrounding Vatican II, this paper sheds light on the complex interplay of ecclesiastical and secular political factors involved in having non-Catholic observers at the Council. As such, it gives a telling example of the multifarious nature of concrete ecumenical engagements.