Religion NewsToday

Patriarch Kirill cancels Kazakhstan journey and probability to satisfy with Pope Francis

(RNS) — A  assembly between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, the top of the Russian Orthodox Church, seems to be scrapped after the cleric, who has been broadly criticized for his justifications for the invasion of Ukraine, pulled out of a gathering of non secular leaders in Kazakhstan subsequent month. 

According to Reuters, a senior Russian Orthodox official advised the Russian information company RIA on Wednesday (Aug. 24) that Kirill won’t attend the Congress of Leaders of World Religions within the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan subsequent month. Francis, who’s slated to attend the gathering, was said to be hoping for an encounter with Kirill on the sidelines of the occasion.

Whereas the 2 met in 2016 in Havana, the abrupt cancellation marks the second time because the Ukraine conflict began that an opportunity for the 2 church leaders to satisfy has been scratched. Francis was anticipated to talk with Kirill in June in Jerusalem, however Vatican officers have been involved that the encounter would have diplomatic repercussions. 

RELATED: How Putin’s invasion became a holy war for Russia

Earlier than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Francis had sought a gathering with Kirill in Moscow as a step towards reconciliation between probably the most populous western Christian denomination and the most important within the Orthodox realm. In December 2021, Francis met with Archbishop Ieronymos, the top of Greece’s Orthodox Church, and provided an apology for Catholic enmity towards Orthodox Christians prior to now. Shortly afterward, Kirill’s prime international relations aide visited Rome and mentioned “particular dates and venues” for a gathering.

With the start of the Ukraine conflict in February, nevertheless, the tenor of such a gathering modified. Throughout a video name between the leaders in March, Francis pressed Kirill on his Ukraine rhetoric, suggesting the Russian chief’s remarks have been paying homage to non secular language used to justify violent imperialism.

Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill, heart, and Russian Protection Minister Sergei Shoigu, heart proper, on the consecration of the Cathedral of Russian Armed Forces exterior Moscow, June 14, 2020. (Oleg Varov, Russian Orthodox Church Press Service by way of AP)

“As soon as upon a time there was additionally speak in our church buildings of holy conflict or simply conflict,” Francis advised Kirill. “Right now we can’t converse like this.”

Chatting with the Italian press after the decision, Francis criticized Kirill’s help for the conflict and endorsed the patriarch that he risked turning into “Putin’s altar boy.”

Kirill has been criticized for laying the spiritual groundwork for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, casting Ukraine as an indivisible a part of Russia’s religious and historic legacy. He has referred to Russia’s opponents in Ukraine as “evil forces” and used a sermon to border the conflict as a part of a “metaphysical” battle towards an immoral West.

His critics have known as on the World Council of Church buildings to expel the Russian Orthodox Church from its ranks. The European Union reportedly drafted sanctions towards him, however finally dropped them from the final round of sanctions in June on the request of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a Putin ally. The UK announced later that month it could sanction the ROC head.

RELATED: Pope Francis and Kirill could meet, Vatican-Orthodox relations expert says

 It was not instantly clear if the 2 nonetheless intend to discover a approach to meet within the close to future. 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button