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Top Vatican ecumenical official in Moscow for meetings with Orthodox leaders

CWN - December 16, 2013

Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, is in Russia this week for meetings with leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Cardinal Koch will meet with Patriarch Kirill II of Moscow, and with Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the external-relations department for the Moscow patriarchate. The cardinal will speak at the Moscow Theological Academy on the progress in Orthodox-Catholic dialogue. His visit to Moscow comes at a time when Orthodox officials have shown a new interest in improving ties with Rome, and broached the possibility of a “summit meeting” between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill.

Cardinal Koch will also meet with Catholic officials, including Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of Moscow, and preside at a jubilee celebration for the basilica of St. Catherine in St. Petersburg.

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