Moscow, August 25, 2022
Despite various statements and media speculations, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill will not be meeting with the head of the Catholic church next month.
His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, the head of the Russian Church’s Department for External Church Relations, told RIA-Novosti that the Patriarch will not be attending the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions being held in Kazakhstan on September 14-15, and thus he won’t be meeting with the Pope there, who is to be in attendance.
The Russian Church will be officially represented at the Congress, but Pat. Kirill will not be part of the delegation, Met. Anthony explained.
Preparations for a second meeting between the Patriarch and Pope were underway until recently. “However, in the spring of this year, to our deep surprise, the Vatican unilaterally publicly announced that preparations for the meeting had been suspended, and that this meeting itself wouldn’t take place,” Met. Anthony said.
The two leaders met for the first time in Havana in 2016, where they signed a joint declaration on a number of issues.