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Pope Francis continues to prepare his meeting with Patriarch Cyril in Jerusalem


MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Pope Francis said that preparations for his meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in Jerusalem are continuing and that he considers the Patriarch as his brother, Leonid Sevastyanov, President of the Union World of Old Believers based in Russia, Sputnik told Sputnik on Sunday.

“He [Pope Francis] wrote to me recently – about a week ago – that they were planning a meeting in Jerusalem. And he said that he considered Patriarch Kirill his brother, that they had complete understanding of each other,” said Sevastyanov, who regularly communicates with the pontiff.

Pope Francis and Patriarch Cyril first met in Cuba in February 2016, in a historic encounter marking the first face-to-face meeting between the heads of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church since the Schism. of 1054. The second meeting was originally scheduled for June 14, 2022 in Jerusalem but ended up being postponed “by mutual agreement” to avoid controversy amid the Ukrainian crisis.

Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Anthony, chairman of the Churches’ external relations department of the Moscow Patriarchate, told Sputnik that preparations for a new meeting, which could take place in Jerusalem in the spring, have been suspended by the Vatican.

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