2018-10-29 10:54:00

Metropolitan Hilarion dismisses rumors that Pope's visit to Russia being prepared

Moscow, October 29, Interfax - Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, has said that during his recent trip to Vatican, he did not discuss with Pope Francis his possible visit to Russia despite what has been written in a few media reports.

"I did not say anything about it during that audience, as this issue is not on the agenda of our bilateral relations. Those concerned with the question are primarily journalists. Believers are not currently interested in this matter," Metropolitan Hilarion said in the Church and the World programme on Rossiya 24 TV.

Among people of faith belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church "the attitude towards the Roman Catholic Church is quite negative in general, and if such a visit took place, it could be accompanied by some provocations or discontent and this is the last thing we need," he said.

Besides, the Catholic Church in Russia said recently that a visit by the pontiff to Moscow would be premature today, he added. "I mean, it would be a great exaggeration to say that there are crowds of Catholics in Russia waiting for the pope to come," the metropolitan resumed.