Cliff Kincaid — December 2, 2013
Before Pope Francis created a controversy by denouncing “trickle-down” economics, the pro-growth policies associated with President Reagan, Russian President Vladimir Putin was visiting the Vatican and acting like a religious believer. Putin made the sign of the cross, gave the pope a Virgin Mary icon, and bent over to kiss it. The pope followed suit.
The Putin visit carries far more significance than a papal document which criticizes free markets and is considered a step toward the possible collaboration—or even merger—of the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church in global affairs. Discussions between these churches are already taking place under the rubric of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The Russian Orthodox Church has been dominated by Putin’s old KGB and continues to serve the interests of the Kremlin.