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Ambassador: Francis and Kirill could meet this summer



I.Media - published on 02/18/22

Take this to prayer: "Preparations for a second meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill are underway now for about June-July," says Russian diplomat.

Moscow Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis could meet in June or July, Russian Ambassador to the Vatican Alexander Avdeyev told the Russian agency TASS on February 18, 2022. “The venue has not yet been chosen,” he said.

“Preparations for a second meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill are underway now for about June-July,” explained the diplomat, who was speaking at an Italian-Russian meeting in Genoa.

His statement comes despite the geopolitical context marked by strong international tensions in Ukraine, where Russia is one of the main protagonists. Pope Francis has repeatedly expressed his concern in recent weeks, urging dialogue and encouraging diplomacy.

Patriarch Kirill, for his part, is in open conflict with a part of the Orthodox world that supports the autocephaly – independence, carried out in 2018 – of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Last January, he said he “appreciated” his relationship with Pope Francis and hoped it would soon result in “joint actions” for peace.

If the two men were to meet, it would be only the second meeting in history of the leaders of the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, after the one in Cuba in 2016. Pope Francis first mentioned preparations for the meeting with Patriarch Kirill in a press conference after returning from a trip to Greece and Cyprus in December.

Pope Francis
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