Pope Francis meets with Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev

13.11.2013, 09:45
Pope Francis meets with Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev - фото 1

Pope Francis met on November 12 with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volkkolamsk, the top ecumenical official of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Vatican did not issue any formal statement about the Pope’s discussions with Metropolitan Hilarion. Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations informed that they discussed different aspects of Orthodox-Catholic relations and the present situation of Christians in the Middle East. Pope Francis and Metropolitan Hilarion noted the necessity of consolidated actions of Christian Churches for protection of Christians in Syria where armed conflict has not abated.

Metropolitan Hilarion and Pope Francis noted that upholding of traditional family values, which are being revised by the adherents of secular ideology, was an important aspect of cooperation between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Holy See.

At the end of the audience, Metropolitan Hilarion introduced members of the delegation that accompany him and presented Pope Francis with a pectoral cross made in the Moscow Patriarchate’s workshops and the first volume of his book ‘Orthodoxy’ in the Italian language. Pope Frances presented Metropolitan Hilarion and members of the delegation with a medal coined in honour of the first year of his pontificate.

Tuesday's meeting coincides with a similar session in Moscow between the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.