Pope Francis meets Metropolitan Hilarion

14 Feb 2020

On the occasion of his visit to Rome to take part in the commemorative celebrations for the fourth anniversary of the historic meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, was received by Pope Francis at the Apostolic Palace on 13 February 2020.

The meeting, which focused on the current state of relations between the Catholic Church and the Moscow Patriarchate, was an opportunity to discuss the importance of the loan of the relics of Saint Nicholas to Russia in May-June 2017, and to reflect on the cooperation that has developed between the two Churches thanks to the efforts of the Joint Working Group for the Coordination of Cultural and Social Projects. Particular emphasis was placed on reciprocal study visits to Moscow and Rome of young priests of the Catholic Church and the Moscow Patriarchate.

In conclusion, the Pope and the Metropolitan exchanged gifts, with Metropolitan Hilarion introducing the members of the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, including Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov), Archpriest Leonid Kalinin, Hieromonk Stephan (Igumnov ), Revd Alexander Aleshin, Archpriest Kirill Kaleda, Hiermonk Jean (Kopeïkine), Revd Alexiy Dikarev, and the sub-deacon Viatcheslav Li.