The Orthodox representative arrived for the first time in the Vatican, after his appointment last June with which he succeeded Metropolitan Hilarion
A meeting that is part of the ecumenical contacts between the Pope and the Patriarchate of Moscow, and follows the long-distance conversation between Francis and the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow Kirill, which took place last March 16. Opening today’s hearings in the Vatican was Metropolitan Antonij of Volokolamsk, who last June replaced Metropolitan Hilarion as president of the Department of External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Just Hilarion was sitting next to Kirill during the videoconference in March, when the Pope had expressed to the Patriarch of all Russia the conviction that, with respect to the drama of the war in Ukraine, the duty of Christians and their pastors is to “do everything “In the” effort to help peace, to help those who suffer “and to stop the fire because” those who pay the bill for the war are the people “.
Subsequently, on 25 April, Francis sent a letter of good wishes to Patriarch Kirill on the occasion of the Easter of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches that follow the Julian calendar. “May the Holy Spirit – wrote the Pope in a passage of the letter – transform our hearts and make us true peacemakers, especially for war-torn Ukraine”, while “we feel all the weight of the suffering of our human family, crushed from violence, war and many injustices “.