On 22 May Pope Francis met with the new Orthodox Metropolitan of Italy and Exarch of All Southern Europe, His Eminence Polycarpos Stavropoulos, who was elected on 14 January 2021 by the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople after the death in October 2020 of Metropolitan Gennadios.
On 24 May Metropolitan Polycarpos met with Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the PCPCU, at the office of the Pontifical Council.
In an interview with Vatican News, Metropolitan Polycarpus referred to Pope Francis’ message to him on his enthronement, in which the Holy Father spoke of transforming the communion that already exists between Orthodox and Catholics into full visible unity.
His Eminence reflected in the interview, “The ecumenical dialogue between every person of goodwill and above all with Catholic brothers, is the main aim of our diocese, especially as this beloved and holy land coincides with the See of the Catholic Church of Rome”. In concluding, he stated, “ The journey of Catholics and Orthodox is on the right road, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and is going towards its goal”.