11 February 2016, 17:42
Pope's superiority as recognized by Catholics not to affect protocol of his meeting with Patriarch Kirill - organizer
Moscow, February 11, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church does not believe that the superiority of the Pope traditionally worshipped by Catholics will have an impact on the protocol and spirit of the oncoming meeting between the Pontiff and Patriarch Kirill.
"In the times when an undivided Church existed, the archbishop of the city of Rome was, indeed, the first in the list of primates of Christian Churches," Hieromonch Stefan (Igumnov), secretary of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, said when speaking on Rossiya-24 television on Thursday.
This circumstance did have a mark on the protocol of communications between Christian leaders "but this procedure was considerably simplified during the pontificate of the current Pope", he went on.
"Perhaps, it will be understood from the protocol of the mutual greetings that the meeting is quite long-anticipated and that these people have much to discuss at the meeting," Hieromonch Stefan added.
The main point of the meeting, in his view, will be that the two leaders of the Christian world will be able to raise a "common powerful voice" on matters touching all mankind.
It is expected that Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis will have an opportunity to talk to each other for about three hours. Their meeting will be held at the international airport of Havana, the Cuban capital city, and is due to start at about 14:15 Friday local time.
The oncoming meeting between the head of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Pope will be the first in history. This meeting has been on the agenda of relations between the two Churches for about 20 years.