“We are very convinced that the meeting between the pope and the patriarch is very important, so the importance of this meeting means that it must be prepared … not just a meeting while you have a coffee,” he said.
The interreligious summit in Nur-Sultan was initially expected to serve as a meeting spot for the pope and Kirill until the patriarch backed out at the end of August.
The metropolitan noted that Pope Francis’ comment earlier this year that the Russian patriarch should not “become Putin’s altar boy” was “unexpected” and “not useful for Christian unity.”
Pope Francis met privately with Metropolitan Anthony for 15 minutes on the sidelines of the Seventh Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions at the Palace of Independence in Nur-Sultan.
The Russian Orthodox representative said, “meeting with the pope is always very cordial.”
“The pope conveyed his greetings to Patriarch Kirill. We talked about the very large presence of the…