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Russian Patriarch responded to Pope's open invitation, says Cardinal Koch

February 10, 2016

Pope Francis "opened the door" for a meeting with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in November 2014, when he said that he would meet with the Russian prelate any time, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity told Vatican Radio. 

Cardinal Kurt Koch said that the Pope's statement-- made to reporters on board a flight from Istanbul to Rome-- gave new impetus to negotiations to arrange for the unprecedented summit meeting between the two religious leaders. 

The cardinal also remarked that Patriarch Kirill was "very courageous" to arrange the meeting with Pope Francis in Cuba, since many powerful Russian prelates would oppose the meeting. 

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