Patriarch Kirill’s visit to Rome, Pope Francis’s visit to Moscow not under consideration now – Russian Orthodox Church

Natalya Mihailova | 17 February 2016
Moscow, February 17, Interfax - It would be premature to consider a new meeting between Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Pope Francis, a high-ranking hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church says.

“Neither the Pope’s visit to Moscow nor the Patriarch’s visit to Rome is under consideration now,” Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, who accompanied Patriarch Kirill on his first meeting in history with Pope Francis in Havana on February 12, said in an interview with Interfax-Religion on Wednesday.

What the two churches should focus on at the moment is stepping up interaction, expanding mutual understanding, and “trying as soon as possible to overcome the negativity that has accumulated in relations between the Orthodox and the Catholics and working toward to bring minds and hearts closer together,” Metropolitan Hilarion said.

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