MOSCOW, January 7. /TASS/. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said after the Christmas service in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior he values kind relations with Pope Francis and hopes joint steps will be made to achieve peace in the conflict-hit regions.
"I would like to thank our guests, Catholic Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, who is here in Moscow. I thank you for the message from Pope Francis that you conveyed to me. I appreciate very much those kind relations between us and hopefully, these relations will translate into many and many kind joint actions, including those aimed at achieving peace where there is no peace today," the Patriarch said.
The first meeting between the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Pope took place in the Cuban capital of Havana in February 2016. The parties signed a 30-point joint declaration, which was particularly aimed at protecting the Christian presence in the Middle East and Africa.
In December 2021, Pope Francis received the head of the External Church Relations Department of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk in the Vatican. After the talks, Metropolitan Hilarion said the new meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill was planned in 2022.