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Vatican cardinal meets with Russian patriarch

November 23, 2016

Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, traveled to Moscow on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Patriarch Kirill and met with him on November 22.

Patriarch Kirill, who leads the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches, expressed his gratitude for recent developments in relations with the Holy See, particularly his meeting in February with Pope Francis in Havana, the signing of the joint declaration there, and recent actions to assist persecuted Christians.

Turning to the geopolitical sphere, the patriarch said that “the actions of the existing coalitions still lack proper coordination, necessary for combating terrorism successfully.”

“I am convinced that only joint coordinated actions aimed at achieving specific goals can really help defeat terrorism,” he added.

For his part, Cardinal Koch said:

I wish to convey to Your Holiness, my beloved brother in Christ, the assurance of my personal best wishes and fervent prayers on the occasion of your seventieth birthday. I thank the Lord for the abundant blessings that he has bestowed upon you in your life and in your ministry as Pastor of the Russian Orthodox Church. I am especially grateful for your personal contribution to the rapprochement between our Churches and I recall with great emotion our historic meeting in Havana.

 
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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Nov. 23, 2016 9:53 AM ET USA

    Patriarch Kirill is a keen observer of world events and a sharp mind. He is correct in saying that " joint coordinated actions aimed at achieving specific goals" are the only ways the civilized world will rid itself of Islamic terror. In steps Trump: two-state solution for Palestine, eagerness to negotiate and strategize with Putin, willingness to explore ways to alleviate the threat to the West ever present from North Korea, conviction to stand against unfair OPEC and Chinese trade practices.