International Orthodox Christian News

Patriarch Kirill have no urgent plans to see Pope

Moscow, January 28, Interfax - There is no meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on the immediate agenda of Kirill, who was elected on Tuesday as head of the Russian Orthodox Church, nor does Kirill take a different stance on the Vatican than late Patriarch Alexy II did, a Russian bishop said on Wednesday.

"Setting the date for a meeting [between Patriarch Kirill and] the Pope is not on the immediate agenda nor are there any immediate plans to bring forward such a meeting," Hilarion, Bishop of Vienna and Austria and the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to European organizations, told Interfax-Religion.

"The position of Metropolitan Kirill on his meeting with the Pope, or on the entire range of relations with the Catholic Church, for that matter, in no way differs from the position of the late Patriarch Alexy," Hilarion said.

"As the holy Patriarch Alexy said, and as Patriarch Kirill says now, such a meeting can take place when the problems that prevent such a meeting are solved," the Bishop said. "There is willingness on both sides to meet each other halfway and solve these problems."

"As for how soon they will be solved, we believe this depends on the leadership of the Catholic Church," Hilarion said.


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