MOSCOW, August 16 (Itar-Tass) — Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, who will begin a four-day visit to Poland on Thursday, considers it “in the broad context of Orthodox-Catholic relationship”.
In an interview with Polish mass media, the patriarch said earlier, no primate of the Russian Orthodox Church had made a trip to the country where most people were Catholics.
“I have a feeling that the time came when this step should be taken. After my enthronement in 2009 the time came to visit my brother, Metropolitan Savva who leads the Polish Orthodox Church. I realise that Poland is a Catholic country and that it belongs to the Orthodox western culture,” the Russian patriarch said.
In his words, “the visit itself is a remarkable event. It turned out that over the whole history no Russian hierarch had visited the Polish land. This fact attaches much significance to my visit and creates an absolutely new atmosphere: I try to put together the past, the present and the future.”
The patriarch noted that the upcoming visit should not be linked to political processes. “Every epoch had its policy and relations were difficult in any political situation. If now we link our joint initiative [with the Catholic Church in Poland] to the political context of the beginning of the 20th century, we will make a big mistake. It is very important to get a new angle on these events,” Patriarch Kirill stressed.