Pope Francis to discuss his visit to Russia with Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church Head of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk. This was reported by RIA Novosti.
Pope Francis also stressed his readiness to negotiate with the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill. The pontiff spoke about this during a conference on board the plane, returning from his apostolic visit to Greece and Cyprus. He added that Metropolitan Hilarion will visit him at the Vatican.
“I am always ready to go to Moscow. To conduct a dialogue with a brother, protocols are not needed: a brother is a brother, ”the Pope said. In turn, Metropolitan Hilarion confirmed in a dialogue with TASS that the discussion of the meeting of the Vatican leader with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church is indeed in the plans of his visit.
Earlier, during a meeting with the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church Jerome II during his visit to Greece, Pope Francis asked forgiveness from God and the Orthodox for the mistakes committed by many Catholics. He stated that the root of the split between the Catholic and Orthodox churches was the desire for profit and power, which flourished in the papacy.