September 29, 2011. (Romereports.com)
It was a cordial visit between the Vatican and the Foreign Minister of Russia's Orthodox Church. But despite this friendly greeting, the pope will not be meeting with Moscow's Patriarch, at least not anytime soon."Welcome, good morning, thanks for your visit."
"Very nice to see you."
This is the third time the pope has met with representative Metropolitan Hilarion. After the meeting, he said the pope is well aware of the Orthodox tradition. He also said Benedict XVI is very interested having a dialogue.
However, according to the Russian Orthodox Church, a meeting between Moscow's Patriarch and the pope, will take place when "there is agreement on issues where there are now differences."
The Church of Moscow accuses the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic faithful of trying to convert their believers, well within their own territory. It also says, the Vatican is acting as an accomplice.
Because of this, the Orthodox Patriarch doesn't want a formal meeting with the pope.
As a gift, Hilarion gave the pope a Russian image of St. Benedict. In turn, the pope gave him a medal of his pontificate.
The pope was not invited to Moscow after the meeting. However, he was invited to the Russian Orthodox parish in Rome. “Some day it would be a great honor to us if you visit us”.
So, perhaps the quickest way to get to Moscow is to first pass by the Russian Orthodox parish, which is about a mile away from the Vatican.