Pope Francis, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Plan Meeting

Pope Francis waves to pilgrims at th end of his weekly open-air general audience on September 4, 2013 in St.Peters square at the Vatican. The pontiff asked for a big turnout at a Vatican vigil on Saturday for peace in Syria and thanked the world's faithful and non-believers for their …
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This article originally appeared at Reuters:

An historic meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church is “getting closer every day,” a senior Orthodox prelate said in an interview published on Sunday.

The unprecedented meeting would be a significant step towards healing the 1,000-year-old rift between the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity, which split in the Great Schism of 1054.

“Now such a meeting is getting closer every day but it must be well prepared,” Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s foreign relations department, said in an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper.

He said the meeting between the head of the 1.2 billion member Roman Catholic Church and the head of Russian Orthodox Church – which counts some 165 million of the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christians – would take place in a “neutral” country, not in Moscow or the Vatican. Austria or Hungary were possibilities, he said.

Hilarion, one of the most influential people in world Orthodoxy, said he could not say if the meeting could take place as early as this year, but there was currently “a good dynamic” between the two Churches.

Read the full story at Reuters.

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