Patriarch Kirill will not meet Pope Francis in September – Metropolitan Anthony

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News/Sputnik – August 24, 2022) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will not travel to Kazakhstan for the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions on September 14-15, nor will he meet there therefore not “on the sidelines” with Pope Francis, whose visit to the republic is scheduled for September 13-15, the head of the Department of External Relations of the Churches of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, told Sputnik on Wednesday. .

“We highly appreciate the initiatives of the leadership of Kazakhstan to develop interreligious dialogue, we consider them important and timely. This year, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Cyril, the Russian Orthodox Church will be represented by an official delegation. Holiness the Patriarch himself will not participate in the congress. And, therefore, his meeting with Pope Francis in Kazakhstan is not scheduled,” the Metropolitan said, responding if the second meeting of the Primates of the two largest churches Christian meetings would take place in the republic in September.

Preparations for a new meeting between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis have not been made since spring 2022, when the Vatican put it on hold, the Metropolitan said.

“More recently, preparations were underway for the second meeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Pope Francis. The first of these meetings took place, as you know, in February 2016 in La Havana, Cuba. However, this spring, to our great surprise, the Vatican unilaterally announced publicly that the preparations for the meeting had been suspended and that this meeting itself would not take place. I can affirm that until today no preparations have been made for a new meeting,” he said.

“Since then, no proposal from the Vatican regarding the possible organization of a meeting at another time or place has been officially addressed to us,” he added.

A new meeting of Patriarch Kirill with the Pope cannot take place on the sidelines of an event even as representative as the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Kazakhstan, and should become an independent event, the Metropolitan said.

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