Pope announces upcoming meeting with Patriarch Kirill

Pope Francis. Photo: Vera Shcherbakova / TASS

The Pope is always ready to go to Moscow to “talk with his brother”, a possible meeting with the Primate of the ROC may be agreed upon in the near future.

The meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ is under discussion and will soon take place. The head of the Vatican said this on Monday, December 6, during a traditional press conference on board a plane returning from Athens to Rome, reports TASS.

“A meeting with Patriarch Kirill is on the foreseeable horizon,” said the Pope, answering journalists' questions.

According to him, the head of the DECR MP Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) is to visit him next week "to agree on a possible meeting".

“I am always ready to go to Moscow. You don't need protocols to talk to your brother,” added the head of the RCC.

The statements of Pope Francis spread in the media were commented on by the head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk. He said that on the 20th of December he really has a scheduled meeting with the Pope.

"My meeting with Pope Francis is planned between December 20 and December 30. I intend to wish him a happy 85th birthday on behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and discuss a broad range of issues concerning the bilateral relations between our churches with him. Among these issues is a possible meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill. Neither the venue nor the date of this meeting is known thus far," Metropolitan Hilarion said in a commentary published on the Department for External Church Relations website.

As reported, the head of the UGCC expects Pope Francis' imminent visit to Ukraine.

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