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Patriarch Kirill: 'powerful forces' opposed meeting with Pope

February 24, 2016

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow says that "powerful forces" outside Russian Orthodox Church were opposed to his February 12 meeting with Pope Francis. 

The Russian prelate, who is now visiting Brazil, told reporters there that "no one knew" about the negotiations to arrange a meeting with the Roman Pontiff. Those negotiations reportedly went on for months, but Patriarch Kirill said that only five people were briefed about them. "I am not going to name them," he added.

"There are powerful forces that did not really want it," the Patriarch explained. He indicated that he was not speaking of opposition within the Russian Orthodox hierarchy-- although he acknowledged that some prelates saw "some danger in the meeting." He did not identify the "powerful forces" that would have been more strenuously opposed.

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  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Feb. 25, 2016 2:11 AM ET USA

    You know, it strikes me that NO ONE ANYWHERE torpedoed more meetings with the Pope, no one found more excuses NOT TO MEET, no one said NYET more than this Russian Orthodox Patriarch and his predecessor! The popes have been begging the patriarchs to meet for decades, or longer. The MOST POWERFUL forces against this meeting were the Patriarch and his bishops! However, amidst criticism of the poor agreement on the Pope's end, the Patriarch is ramping up the intrigue to try to hide the hoodwink.