Tag Archives: Moscow Patriarchate

Why Did Patriarch Kirill of Moscow Agree to Meet with Pope Francis?

by Paul L. Gavrilyuk  |  ру́сский

Photo: Catholic News Service

We live in historic times. About a week ago, the leaders of the Orthodox Churches announced their commitment to hold the Pan-Orthodox Council on the island of Crete in mid-June 2016. The failed attempts to organize such a council for more than fifty years have been attributed to a variety of factors, most notably the rivalry between the Patriarchate of Moscow and the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The news of the upcoming Council has now been overshadowed by another sensational announcement that Pope Francis will meet with the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in Cuba on Friday, February 12, 2016. Pope Francis’s predecessors, including John Paul II and Benedict XVI, made numerous requests for such a meeting, to which Moscow responded with inaction or rejection. What could possibly have changed Patriarch Kirill’s disposition? Why is the meeting happening now? What will be discussed at the meeting? What will be the meeting’s impact? Continue Reading…