Pope Francis discusses relations with Kirill, NATO expansion, in interview

In an interview with an Italian newspaper, the Pope provided new insights into his most recent meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in an interview with the Italian press.

Pope Francis provided new insights into his most recent meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in an interview with the Italian press.

On their March 16 video conference, the Pope said that the first half of the 40-minute meeting consisted of the Russian patriarch reading out justifications of the war from a piece of paper.

For months, the Pope had been signaling his intention to meet with Patriarch Kirill face-to-face for a second time.

POPE FRANCIS
A meeting with Patriarch Kirill is on the not-too-distant horizon.

The Vatican tentatively scheduled the encounter to take place in Jerusalem in June, but the Pope later said the Vatican canceled the meeting since it could lead to “confusion.”

In the interview published May 3, the Pope went on to say that Patriarch Kirill must not transform himself into “Putin’s altar boy.”

Reflecting on the cause of the war, the Pope said that NATO “barking at Russia’s door” may have led to the Kremlin launching its invasion, and could have facilitated, while not necessarily provoking, Putin’s anger toward the West.

The Pope also made mention of the knee pain that has been bothering him in recent weeks, saying that he has a torn ligament and was due to have a minor knee procedure by injection on May 3.

Romereports.com

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