Head of the Russian Church Rejects Informal Talks with Pope, Vatican Frustrated

Originally appeared at: Global Orthodox

Contrary to various predictions and media speculations, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill will not be meeting with the head of the Roman Catholic church next month.

According to Metropolitan Anthony, the head of the Russian Church Department for External Relations, the Patriarch will not be attending the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions being held in Kazakhstan on September 14-15, and thus he won’t be meeting there with the Pope, who is to be in attendance.

The Russian Church will be officially represented at the Congress, but Patriarch Kirill will not visit the Congress, Met. Anthony explained, though preparations for the second meeting between the Patriarch and Pope were underway until recently.

“However, earlier this year, to our regret, the Vatican unilaterally announced that preparations for the meeting had been cancelled, and that this meeting itself wouldn’t take place,” Metropolitan Anthony said.

The two leaders met for the first time in Havana in 2016, where they signed a joined declaration on a number of issues.

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