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Russian Patriarch hopes for continued ecumenical progress under Pope Francis

Catholic World News - May 06, 2013

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has said that he hopes to see continued improvements in relations between Moscow and the Vatican under Pope Francis, ‘and we have no indication that the incumbent Pope is not open to the same.”

The Russian patriarch said that ecumenical ties had been strengthened under Pope Benedict XVI, largely because of a decision to concentrate attention on issues of mutual interest, such as the drive to counter secularization in Europe.

The Christian churches should work together, Patriarch Kirill said, to bring moral renewal to a society that “cannot restrain its vices and is refusing to do so.” He observed that signs of resistance against aggressive secularization—such as the mass demonstrations against same-sex marriage in France— are “a manifestation of a deep religious feeling” that the Christian community should encourage.

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