LONDON, February 7. /TASS/. A historic first meeting of Russian Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Pope Francis will become an act of goodwill, allowing to focus on persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Archpriest Thomas Hardy of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad has said in an interview with TASS in London.
"I think that the persecution of Christians will be the main theme during the meeting. All the Christian suffer in the Middle East whether they are Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox and they are prosecuted by the Muslim majority," the Reverend Thomas Hardy said.
Along with this, the Russian Orthodox priest is certain that theological reconciliation should not be expected from the meeting.
"I think it is a matter of politeness and goodwill rather than theological unity. It is nice if people who differ strongly in their theological views can speak with each other politely. I do not see any theological reconciliation I just see a good sense. I also know that the Pope Francis wanted to meet the Patriarch Kirill," he said.
Earlier in the week, the Vatican and Moscow Patriarchate announced in a joint communique that Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis plan to meet each other at the Jose Marti international airport in Havana on February 12.