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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis meets with Russian Church delegation and asks for meeting with Kirill


Following the plenary session of the Congress for the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, Pope Francis met individually from interfaith leaders from around the globe, such as the Chief Rabbis of Israel, David Lau, and Yitzhak Yosef.

Shalom, shalom.

And the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, Theophilos III. 

The Pope then had his long-anticipated meeting with the delegation from the Russian Orthodox Church. 

-How is Patriarch Kirill?

-Good, good.

-Tell him I say hello.

-We spoke yesterday and he asked me to pass along his greeting.

-As do I to him.

It was led by the new foreign minister of the Russian Orthodox Church, who meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican in August. He spoke to the Pope in Italian, who expressed to him his desire for a second meeting with Patriarch Kirill. 

That at another time we may have another meeting.  

Pope Francis was expected to meet with Patriarch Kirill during this conference, but the Patriarch instead decided send a delegation. His foreign minister said that such a meeting should take place independently of the conference. The last confirmed communication between the heads of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Church was a video call held between the two in March, in which the Pope asked the head of Russia's largest church to work for peace.

Yet relations may have possibly cooled when two months after the war began, Pope Francis was quoted in an interview with the Italian press as saying that Patriarck Kirill should not be Putin's altar boy. 

JM