Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will not be able to meet Pope Francis in Kazakhstan. The reason is that he will not participate in the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, Metropolitan Antony of Volokolama, head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, told RIA Novosti.
“This year, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, the Russian Orthodox Church will be represented by an official delegation. His Holiness the Patriarch himself will not participate in the work of the congress. Therefore, his meeting with Pope Francis is not planned in Kazakhstan,” the Metropolitan said.
Earlier it became known that Pope Francis will not have a meeting with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch during his visit to Kazakhstan next month, Reuters recalled.
The Holy Father will be present from September 13 to 15 at a meeting of religious leaders in the Kazakh capital, Nur Sultan.
In previous interviews, Francis had indicated that he hoped to meet with Patriarch Kirill while in Kazakhstan.
The planned May meeting between Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, was also canceled. It was reported that the meeting was scheduled to take place in Jerusalem, a day after the pope ended his trip to Lebanon.
The head of the Roman Catholic Church held a telephone conversation with the Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in the spring.
The two met only once, in Havana in 2016