With these three kisses Pope Francis and Metropolitan, Hilarion, of the Russian Orthodox Church saluted each other. He gave the pope a very special, carefully guarded gift. It was a valuable relic, which surprised Pope Francis.
Afterwards, the pope gave the Metropolitan a gift to bring to Patriarch Kiril. He acknowledged that perhaps this was not as impressive as what he had just received from the Patriarch of Moscow.
"It would please me if you could take this to the patriarch, to the Patriarch Kiril from me. It is a humble gift compared to yours that has moved me."
The relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church continues to improve after the decisive impulse that marked the historic meeting between Pope Francis and the Patriarch of Moscow in Cuba. Always in touch, the two churches continue to work to end the rift.