Pope Francis Meets Russian Orthodox Bishop in Vatican

Pope Francis Meets Russian Orthodox Bishop in Vatican

ROME — Pope Francis met Friday morning with the number two man of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow, the Vatican has reported.

His Eminence the Metropolitan Antonij di Volokolamsk, president of the Department of External Affairs of the Patriarchate of Moscow, is the second most powerful leader of the Russian Orthodox Church after Patriarch Kirill, who has been a staunch supporter of Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine.

Pope Francis is expected to meet with Patriarch Kirill next month at a summit of religious leaders in Kazakhstan. Earlier this week, the Vatican released the pontiff’s program for his September 13-15 visit to the country, which centers on his presence at the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in the capital Nur-Sultan.

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