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Do you approve of the upcoming meeting of the Patriarch Kirill with the Pope?

Historian of religion Yudin about why Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis will meet right now
ALEXEY YUDIN | FEBRUARY 5, 2016

On 5 February. PRAVMIR. Historian of religion, associate Professor of the Center for the study of religions RSUH, Alexey Yudin has shared his opinion with “Provera” why the meeting of the Head of the ROC with Pope Francis appointed now and what topics may be discussed.

Одобряете ли вы предстоящую встречу Патриарха Кириллла с Папой Римским?
Photo: Postnauka.ru

  • DECR: the Patriarch and the Pontiff will sign a Joint Declaration
  • Patriarch Kirill will meet with Pope Francis

Why now?

I think there was intensive work on the preparation of this meeting, and it was at the diplomatic level. Was prudently imposed information embargo. No information leakage. For us the result is unexpected, as it is a natural result.

According to the historian, the timing of a meeting between the Patriarch and the Pope are largely associated with the forthcoming pan-Orthodox Council.

The first historic meeting of Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Afinogen took place during the Vatican Council. And that catalyze many processes, for example, led to the creation of mixed bogoslovskoi a fee. And here we see the initiative of the Moscow Patriarchate on the eve of the pan-Orthodox Council.

Why such meetings have not happened before?

Since the early 1990-ies such “newstech” had a few in the past the Patriarchate and in the last pontificate. But already during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI statement from the Orthodox side regarding the prospects of the meeting sounded more optimistic.

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Pope Francis warned that he was ready to meet with Patriarch Kirill at any time. But Orthodoxy and Catholicism are two different worlds. Various procedures and protocols could be the reasons that the meeting did not take place earlier.

The meeting of Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill and Pope Francis will include a personal interview in the International airport. José martí in Havana and will end with the signing of the Joint Declaration.

Alexey Yudin reminded that traditional contacts between Rome and Constantinople had ended, as a rule, the signing of the joint declarations.

– This type of document is top – notch.

The historian believes that the meeting may be affected by the topic of Christianophobia and interaction with the Islamic world.

– A new version of anti-Muslim League, as it was in the past, and of course this is not impossible political task. But there is a pastoral concern about the state of Christianity. The challenge of dialogue with Islam – this is a task that needs to be solved. Dialogue with Islam must move to a new level.

The meeting of the primates of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Churches were preparing for a long time. During the 1996-97 years of intensive negotiations on the organization of the meeting his Holiness Patriarch Alexy II and Pope John Paul II in Austria, however, these negotiations were stopped due to problems, which failed to reach agreement. First of all, it concerned the actions of the Greek Catholics in Ukraine and Catholic proselytism of the missionaries on the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate. However, the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church never rejected the possibility of organizing such meetings in future, when will be the necessary conditions for its implementation.

“His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the outset didn’t want the meeting took place in Europe because Europe is associated with history of heavy divisions and conflicts among Christians. The coincidence of the dates of the Patriarch’s visit to Latin America and the Pope visiting Mexico provided the opportunity in the New World to hold a meeting, which, we hope, will open a new page in relations between the two churches,” said Metropolitan Hilarion.

From 11 to 22 February the Patriarch will visit the countries of Latin America. He will visit Cuba, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay.

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