Archimandrite Philaret: meeting of Patriarch and Pope «will suffice for years to come»

© RIA Novosti / Sergey Pathiterator in photovacation of Moscow and all Russia Kirill and Pope Francis during the signing of the joint Declaration following the meeting in HavanaArchimandrite Philaret: meeting of Patriarch and Pope «will suffice for years to come»© RIA Novosti / Sergey Pathiterator the image Bank

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko with respect to the current process of cooperation between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, and this explains his words about the possibility of meeting in Minsk between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis, said on Friday, RIA Novosti Deputy Chairman of the Department for external Church relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov).

On Thursday at a meeting with participants opened in Minsk plenary meeting of the Council of Episcopal conferences of Europe Lukashenko, responding to comments made about the effectiveness of the meeting of the primates in 2016, noted that the meeting took place «somewhere out there, far away in Cuba,» and «we need to think that they (Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis) was found here in Minsk». According to Lukashenko, Belarus is «today the place where you can discuss problems and West and East, North and South, and throughout the world.»

Earlier in the print service of the Holy see refused to comment on the proposal of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko.

«Alexander Lukashenko is not talking about the meeting of Pope and Patriarch – he talks about Belarus. Belarus is definitely a country where historically contact between West and East. Being an Orthodox country, it nevertheless has wide Catholic presence, normal, constructive relations between the Orthodox and Catholics, where Western European and Eastern European traditions are present together and peacefully coexist,» said Archimandrite Philaret.

According to him, the President of Belarus only «started from the ideas, from those high ratings that were given already the last meeting, and said that a good place, if such meeting will be in the future, could be Belarus».

Speaking about a possible future meeting of religious leaders, the Deputy Chairman of the DECR said that «no concrete negotiations about it is, they just do not.»

«The meeting, which was, it will suffice for years to come. I think that the words of the President of Belarus testify to its respect for the processes that he sees watches in cooperation between Catholics and Orthodox and is willing to support,» concluded Archimandrite Philaret.

Historic meeting Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, the results of which a Joint statement was adopted, took place on 12 February 2016 in Havana. A meeting of this level was the first in the history of relations between the two churches.