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Rome Reports

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Pope to Patriarch of Moscow representatives: Catholic churches shouldn't meddle in your affairs

The pope has held an important meeting with a delegation of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow led by Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the chairman of External Church Relations. The Moscow Patriarchate is one of the most reluctant to dialogue with Rome, but the pope received them with open arms.

"In front of you I want to confirm, most of all in front of you, dear brother, and before you all, that the Catholic Church will never allow an attitude of division to be born on its own. We will never allow it. I do not want it. In Moscow, in Russia, there is only one Patriarchate, yours. We will not have another."

In addition, he asked Catholics not to intervene in internal matters of the Russian Orthodox Church. 

"The Catholic Church, the Catholic Churches, should not interfere in internal affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church, not even in political matters. This is my position and the position of the Holy See today. Those who meddle, do not obey the Holy See."

It is a gesture of goodwill by the pope with the Patriarch of Moscow, on which the majority of the Orthodox in the world depend.

Pope Francis has invited all Christian patriarchs to pray together for peace on July 7 in Bari. It is not yet known if Kirill, the patriarch of Moscow, will also participate.