Yurash: We’re trying to prevent meeting between Pope and Patriarch Kirill
Ukraine's Ambassador to the Vatican, Andriy Yurash, has commented on a possible meeting between Pope Francis and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Ukrainian Ambassador to the Vatican Andriy Yurash admitted that a meeting between the pontiff and Patriarch Kirill in Kazakhstan is undesirable for Ukraine. "There is a big discussion now about why we are trying to prevent the Pope and Patriarch Kirill from meeting in Kazakhstan in September 2022," the official said to Channel 24, adding that "they were ready to meet this year in Lebanon, on neutral territory."
According to Yurash, for Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church, contact with the Pope is only a tool for them to use the Holy See for their foreign policy and PR purposes. At the same time, according to Yurash, the Russian Federation is afraid to invite the Pope to Russia and, in order to avoid this, "since the early 1990s they have been coming up with many reasons".
"The visit of the Pope directly to Russia is for them an extremely critical situation in terms of the position of the Russian Church," emphasised Yurash.
The diplomat explained that the ROC "as an instrument of politics and influence of the Russian state on all external moments related to the representation of the state can create a certain discomfort, so they do not allow an equal relationship."
As reported, the Pope spoke of a cordial and open dialogue with Russia.