2019-07-04 17:54:00

Russian Orthodox Church hails contacts between Putin, Vatican

Moscow, July 4, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate has said over Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to the Vatican that the dialogue between him and the pope was secular, but spoke in support of such communication.

"The Russian Orthodox Church has no duty to comment on interstate meetings, but we support and welcome any contacts between heads of state and government, including President Vladimir Putin and Pope Francis," head of the Synodal Department for Church's Relations with Society and Mass Media Vladimir Legoyda wrote on Telegram on Wednesday.

The Holy See is an entity that is close to a state entity in status: it participates in international treaties and international organizations and has diplomatic missions in many countries, he said. "Therefore, the meeting between the Russian president and the pope is one that is interstate, secular in nature," Legoyda said.

The Vatican and Russia see eye-to-eye on some global policy issues, they find it important to support traditional marriage and family values and protect the rights of Christians in the regions where they are persecuted, Legoyda said.

"Therefore, from the point of view of the Church, this meeting is undoubtedly important and useful," he said.