Voices from Russia

Monday, 8 February 2016

Kremlin Welcomes Historic Meeting Between Pope Francisco and Patriarch Kirill

00 A Thought from HH. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. 12.10.13

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The leaders of the two churches are due to meet for the first time next Friday in Cuba. On Monday, Kremlin spokesman D S Peskov told reporters:

Russia welcomes the historic meeting between Pope Francisco and Patriarch Kirill. You know, it’s a mutual step forward and, of course, like everyone else, we expect that this meeting will be successful, and we very much appreciate the willingness of the two religious leaders to hold such a meeting.

Most expect Pope Francisco and Patriarch Kirill to discuss the persecution of Christians, amongst other matters, and sign a joint declaration.

8 February 2016

http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160208/1034393329/kremlin-pope-patriarch-meeting.html

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On Sunday, Pope Francisco Bergoglio called on Christians gathered in St Peter’s Square in Vatican City to pray for his historic meeting with Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. The leaders of the two churches are due to meet for the first time next Friday in Cuba. He said:

I ask you to support with a prayer my trip to Mexico, which begins in a few days, and my meeting in Havana with dear brother Kirill.

7 February 2016

http://sputniknews.com/art_living/20160207/1034367633/pope-meeting-patriarch.html

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On 12 February, Pope Francisco Bergoglio will meet with Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, in Cuba, in what will be the first face-to-face engagement between the heads of the two churches. Pope Francisco and Patriarch Kirill will meet at the Havana airport; reportedly, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East is the primary issue on the agenda of the meeting. On Saturday, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, chairman of the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS), said on the TV show Vesti v Subbotu (Vesti on Saturday) that a joint declaration following the meeting might contain a call for “people of good will“ to form a coalition to end terrorism:

There’s constant talk of creating various coalitions. They say, “Let’s create a coalition to fight terrorism; let’s create another coalition”. Coalitions are being created here and there, but to overcome this evil, there needs to be a coalition of all people of good will. Political games have to give way to reality; we must give up political interests when people face real suffering and death. We follow the same gospel, the same Christ and the same commandments. Despite differences in theology, we’re united in the essence of Christian faith, and we mustn’t forget this. We need to find common solutions to global problems.

6 February 2016

http://sputniknews.com/world/20160206/1034334427/pope-russian-patriarch-new-anti-terrorism-coalition.html

Sputnik International

Sunday, 7 February 2016

VRNS Statement on the Upcoming Meeting of Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francisco

00 give peace a chance francisco and kirill 161115

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The media office of the Worldwide Russian People’s Council (VRNS) issued a statement:

The VRNS applauds the news of the upcoming meeting of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all the Russias and Pope Francisco, the head of the Roman Catholic Church. At such a difficult moment in history, such a meeting is a timely and vital. We remain convinced that Orthodox and Catholics should unite their efforts to resist de-Christianisation, the destruction of the traditional family and morality, anti-religious vandalism, and sacrilege, despite continuing theological differences between Eastern and Western Christians. Of particular importance is for us to jointly oppose the Christian genocide unfolding in the Middle East, which equally affects Eastern Orthodox, Catholics, and Oriental Orthodox, who’ve lived for thousands of years in Arab countries. The severe persecution they face recalls the fate of the early Christian martyrs, beaten down by pagan tyrants. Orthodox and Catholics should unite their efforts and appeal to major world leaders to demand an end to the genocide against Middle Eastern Christians. We also hope that the meeting of Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francisco will positively influence the Ukrainian situation, where the canonical Church now experiences harsh times.

7 February 2016

Patriarchia.ru

MP official website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/4370649.html

V R Legoida: “Meeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill with Pope Francisco isn’t Connected with the all-Orthodox Sobor”

00 Great Minds Think Alike! 27.11.13

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V R Legoida, head of the MP Synodal Department of Relations with Society and the Media (OVTsOS), said on a broadcast of Светлый вечер (Svetly vecher: Bright Evening) on Radio Vera (Radio Faith):

The meeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill with Pope Francisco, due for 12 February in Cuba, isn’t connected with the upcoming all-Orthodox Sobor. The decision to hold the all-Orthodox Sobor in Crete on 19 June came during the late January meeting of First Hierarchs of the Local Churches and their representatives in Chambésy [in Switzerland]. This was a joint decision of the parties to the Sobor; some took it out of context with a schedule of meetings involving only First Hierarchs. The necessity for a meeting between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis has its roots in a singular tragedy… the situation stemming from the genocide of Christians in the Middle East and in North and Central Africa.

5 February 2016

Patriarchia.ru

MP official website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/4370418.html

What to Expect from the First-Ever Meeting of a Patriarch of Moscow and the Pope of Rome

00 patriarch kirill 01 300715

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For the first time in history, the Patriarch of Moscow will meet with the Pope of Rome at an airport in Cuba. On 12 February, the Roman Curia, not the MP, made the first announcement that Pope Francisco Bergoglio would meet with Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev. This would be the first-ever meeting of the First Hierarch of the MP and the Roman Pontiff. In general, there’ve only been about a dozen meetings between Orthodox patriarchs and Roman popes in the entire history of Christianity. We know that the prelates will meet at José Martí International Airport in Havana. In February, both hierarchs shall visit Latin America, which is a convenient excuse for the historic meeting. However, both Moscow and the Vatican confirmed that this wasn’t a spontaneous meeting… there was preparation over the past few months. [The two First Hierarchs] will talk privately and sign a joint declaration. Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, a Vatican spokesman, said, “The Holy See and the Moscow Patriarchate hope that the meeting would be a sign of hope for all people of good will. We call upon all Christians to pray that the meeting bears fruit”.

Now, it’s clear that threats impact the entire Christian world. Often, terrorists in Africa and the Middle East kill people on religious grounds. In Syria, ISIS (banned in Russia) destroys entire cities inhabited by Christians. Sergei Perevesentsev, a Russian university professor, said, “Modern Christians experience persecution unprecedented in history. In recent years, 200 million Christians suffered violence and outright murder”. Last summer, President V V Putin spoke about a joint struggle against pseudo-Islamic terrorists with the Pope during a state visit to the Vatican.

The paths of two churches… Catholic and Orthodox… diverged almost a thousand years ago. The main reason for the split was the Vatican dogma that the Pope was supreme over all other hierarchs and that all others should confess his supremacy. In Orthodoxy, the Pope of Rome is only the head of one Local Church, equal to all other First Hierarchs. These differences remain, but other factors bring the two groups together. Fr Kirill Gorbunov, a priest of the Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Moscow, said, “Catholics and Orthodox are Christians who believe in one God; that fact should be supreme for us. I’m sure that this would influence what happens at this meeting”.

The last planned meeting of the Patriarch and the Pope was due in 1997. Patriarch Aleksei Ridiger and Pope John Paul II Wojtyła were to hold talks in Austria, but the situation in the Ukraine proved a stumbling block. Rather, the antics of Ukrainian Greek Catholics (more commonly called Uniates) nixed the meeting. Uniates ape Orthodox ritual, but bow down before papal supremacy. After the collapse of the USSR, Uniates began to seize MP churches and property, which made negotiations under such conditions impossible. However, now, it’s clear that it’s time for contact between the two most influential religious leaders in the Christian world.

5 February 2016

Teleradiokompaniya Zvezda

http://tvzvezda.ru/news/vstrane_i_mire/content/201602051814-jdwr.htm

Editor:

Do bear in mind that Zvezda is an official media outlet… it’s the information arm of the Minoborony. There are three factors in play here. Firstly, they cut Black Bart out of this shindig. This, in itself, negates his claim to be the “Orthodox Pope” (a claim widely heard in EP circles). Indeed, it points up the fact that Kirill is the effectual “First-Amongst-Equals” in Orthodoxy and that Bart is nothing but a pipsqueak Ruritanian leader of a Rotten Borough Patriarchate. Secondly, I expect no movement on the Uniate issue. That’s why the meeting is nothing but a private chat in an airport conference room, no doubt. It’s NOT the media extravaganza that the Roman Curia lusted for. Thirdly, expect Kirill and Francisco to sign some sort of paper attacking terrorism, along with gassy bullshit about interfaith relations. Shall it be a real breakthrough? No. However, it’s a good thing whenever people sit down to talk with one another instead of shouting at one another. Kirill upstaged Bart… it’s another move in the Great Game… shall this strengthen Kirill’s hand at the upcoming all-Orthodox Sobor? Time will tell us…

BMD

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