Russia's Orthodox Church and Poland's Roman Catholic Church pledged today (June 24, 2010)to help their nations overcome a painful shared past and work toward reconciliation, according to the Reuters website.
The two churches -- very influential in their own countries -- agreed at a rare meeting of senior clergy to draw up a joint document that will express their Christian vision of how the two Slavic neighbors can come together.
Soviet Russia joined Nazi Germany in 1939 in carving up Poland, and Russian dictator Josef Stalin ordered the murder of 20,000 Polish officers in 1940 in Katyn forest.
Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the Russian Orthodox Church's external relations department, said, "Our aim is to call for mutual forgiveness and reconciliation so the errors of the past are not repeated in the future. Our aim is to seek those things common to us both -- such as Christian history."