MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. A new meeting between Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Pope Francis is possible in the future, its venue and timeframe have not been determined for now, Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations Hilarion said in a press release posted on the website of the Russian Orthodox Church on Monday.
It will be discussed at a meeting of Metropolitan Hilarion with Pope Francis, it said. "My meeting with Pope Francis is scheduled after December 20. I expect to congratulate him on his 85th birthday on behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, as well as to discuss with him a broad range of issues regarding bilateral relations between our churches," he said.
"Among these issues is a possible meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill. Neither the venue nor the date of this meeting have been determined for now," the commentary said.
According to Metropolitan Hilarion, the visit has not yet been discussed at the bilateral level, between representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Vatican.
Earlier on Monday, Pope Francis told a news conference on board a plane as he was returning from a mission trip to Greece and Cyprus that he could meet with Patriarch Kirill in the near future.
"A meeting with Patriarch Kirill is on the foreseeable horizon. I think that next week he will visit me to coordinate the possible date," the pope said. "The patriarch is expected to be on a trip, I can’t say where exactly, to Finland it seems, but I am not sure. I am always ready to go to Moscow. No protocols are needed to talk to your brother," Pope Francis said.