According to Reuters, the Vatican is weighing a meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in Jerusalem this June.
“The Vatican is studying the possibility of extending Pope Francis’ trip to Lebanon in June so that he can travel to Jerusalem to meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill,” Reuters reports. After returning from his trip to Malta on April 3, Pope Francis mentioned a possible meeting with the Patriarch of Moscow in the Middle East.
The British news agency explains that it obtained the information from two sources who “spoke on condition of anonymity.” According to those sources, “The plan is for the 85-year-old pope, who is due to visit Lebanon on June 12 and 13, to fly to Amman, Jordan, on the morning of June 14,” writes Vatican expert Philip Pullella.
The Pope will then fly to Jerusalem by helicopter to meet with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. “One of the sources said the trip seemed almost certain, while the other said it was a possibility,” the article said.
This would be the second meeting between the Patriarch of Moscow and Pope Francis, after the historic meeting held in Cuba in 2016.
On March 16, three weeks after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Pope and the Patriarch exchanged via video conference thoughts on the “war in Ukraine and the role of Christians and their pastors who must do everything for peace to reign.”
On the plane returning from Malta to Rome on April 3, the Pope spoke to journalists about a possible meeting: “All this is in the air. For a long time, we have been thinking about a meeting with Patriarch Kirill, we are working on it. We are thinking of doing it in the Middle East. These are things as they are now.”