Pope Francis to meet Russian Patriarch Kirill in Cuba

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet with Pope Francis in Cuba this month, the chairman of the department for external church relations told reporters in Moscow on Friday.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet with Pope Francis in Cuba this month, the chairman of the department for external church relations told reporters in Moscow on Friday.

"Taking into consideration that the patriarch will visit Latin America on February 11-22 and the trip of the Pope to Mexico will take place at the same time, their meeting will be held in Cuba," Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk said.

The meeting was prepared a long time ago, he added. The Vatican has also confirmed the upcoming meeting. Reuters has reported that the event will take place on February 12.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia will make his first pastoral visit to Latin America. His route will run through Cuba’s Havana, Paraguay’s Asuncion, Chile’s Punta Arenas, Brazil’s Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro.

The historic meeting, the first between a pope and a Russian patriarch, will discuss the problems of persecution of Christians in the Middle East and other regions, the senior Orthodox cleric said.

"The issue of persecution of Christians will become a central one at this meeting," the metropolitan said. The sides will also "sign a joint declaration," he said.

First published by TASS.

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