Catholic and Russian Orthodox relations – the Pope and the Patriarch

Catholic and Russian Orthodox relations will take a further step forward this week.

Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill are meeting in Switzerland to resume discussions they began last year in Havana.

At last year’s meeting, the Catholic and Orthodox leaders discussed Christian brotherhood and unity.

This year they will talk about progress and rapprochement between the two Churches.

“We spoke as brothers,” Pope Francis said of the meeting last year. “We have the same baptism. We are bishops. We spoke of our Churches.”

Patriarch Kirill said their private discussion was conducted “with full awareness of the responsibility of our Churches, for the future of Christianity, and for the future of human civilization” and provided a chance to understand each other.

He said the two Churches will work against war.

Other topics of the discussion between the Pope and the Patriarch included poverty, the crisis in the family, abortion and euthanasia.

The Pope and the Patriarch pleaded for young Christians to live their faith in the world.

Both last year and this year’s conferences were arranged by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, and Metropolitan Hilarion, president of the department of the external ecclesiastical relations of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate.

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