Putin: Pope Francis and I can protect Christianity


Eastern Europe


Photo AFP, Vatican Media

According to the Russian president, he and the pope could jointly protect Christians.

Putin said so while congratulating the leader of the Catholic Church with his 85th birthday on Friday.
According to the Russian leader, he and the pope can "through joint efforts, do a lot to protect the rights and interests of Christians, as well as to ensure interfaith dialogue." The presidents' statements were published on the Kremlin website.

Putin praised the pope's "high global authority and his big personal contribution to developing ties between Russia and the Vatican."

Second meeting

The call followed after Pope Francis stated earlier this month that he had plans for a possible second meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, writes the American news website ABC News. Francis met Patriarch Kirill in Cuba in 2016. That was the first encounter between the heads of the two largest Christian churches since Christianity split into Western and Eastern branches in the 11th Century – an event known as "The Great Schism."

Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Russian church's department for external relations, said this month he would meet the pope sometime before the end of the year. According to the Moscow Times, he and the pope will discuss a possible future meeting with Kirill.



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