Pope: New meeting with Russian Orthodox patriarch possible

Pope Francis said Monday there were plans for a possible second meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, after their historic 2016 encounter in Cuba became a landmark in mending relations severed by the 1,000-year-old schism that divided Christianity.

Francis said he planned to meet next week with the Russian church’s foreign envoy “to agree on a possible meeting” with Patriarch Kirill. The pontiff noted that Kirill is due to travel in the coming weeks, but Francis said he was also “ready to go to Moscow” even if diplomatic protocols weren’t yet in place.

“Because talking with a brother, there are no protocols,” Francis told reporters as he traveled home from Greece. “We are brothers. We say things to each other’s face like brothers.”

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