22 November 2013, 11:01
Moscow Patriarchate hopes Putin's Vatican visit will make
Orthodox-Catholic ties stronger
Moscow, November 22, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate expects Russian
President Vladimir Putin's upcoming meeting with Pope Francis in the
Vatican to give an additional impetus to relations between Orthodox
people and Catholics.
"We would like to hope that President Putin's meeting with the Pope will
help strengthen relations between Russia and the Vatican, as well as
relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic
Church," a spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for
External Church Relations told Interfax-Religion.
It will be a meeting of the leaders of two states, the spokesman said,
adding that the two churches have been working directly to tackle many
The Russian president and the pontiff are expected to meet during
Putin's visit to the Vatican on November 25. It will be the third visit
of the Russian head of state to the Vatican after the establishment of
full-scale diplomatic relations in December 2009. In the earlier period,
Putin met with Pope John Paul II in 2000 and 2003 and with Pope Benedict
XVI in 2007.