Former Apostolic Nuncio to Brazil meets Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow

Archbishop Giovanni D’Angelo, apostolic nuncio of the Holy See to Russia, visited the Orthodox Patriarch Kirill. In the excerpt published by the Patriarch, there is no reference to Ukraine.

Newsroom (03/06/2022 17:30, Gaudium Press) The Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow received a visit from Archbishop Giovanni D’Angelo, Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See to Russia, last Thursday, March 3.

Kirill recalls meeting with Francis

Of the entire meeting between the two, only a video was broadcast via Patriarch Kirill’s media.

In that excerpt, the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow said that he was always happy to receive officials from the Holy See.

The Patriarch added that he has fond memories of the meeting with Francis, an event that “opened a new page in the history of relations between our Churches.”

Patriarch Kirill stated that “it is very important that our churches do not become, voluntarily or involuntarily, participants in the complex, and sometimes contradictory, dynamics of international life today.”

No mention of Ukraine, criticism of Patriarch

Kirill added by praising “the wise and balanced position of the Holy See on many issues on the international agenda.”

However, in the excerpt of the meeting that was published by the Orthodox Patriarch, there is no mention of “Ukraine.”

Kirill is considered to be very close and influential within the Kremlin government. The influence does not go unnoticed and is the subject of criticism by many regarding the Patriarch’s neutrality towards the attitudes of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This criticism increased especially after Kirill blessed the Russian army on the eve of the invasion of Ukraine.

More by Gaudium Press  Francis: ‘A Christian Without Courage’ is ‘a Useless Christian’

Archbishop Giovanni D’Agnello transmits the Pope’s greetings

In the Apostolic Nuncio’s few words conveyed by the published excerpt, he stated that he had “long” wanted to meet with the Patriarch of the Orthodox, but the date was delayed because of the pandemic.

Arch D’Angelo, a former nuncio to Brazil, conveyed to Kirill the greetings of Pope Francis, who remembers with affection the meeting that took place between the two in Havanna in 2016.

Despite speculation regarding a new meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow, in the published excerpt there was no reference to this.

The Patriarch, on his part, recalled that Archbishop Giovanni D’Angelo has “experience in difficult contexts, including in his ministry in Latin America, which is an uneasy continent.” He also commented that there was the problem of “injustice,” but that “at the same time, it was never a place of mismatch between East and West.”

“Ecumenical diplomacy”

According to some observers, Francis’ “ecumenical diplomacy” toward the Moscow Patriarchate would explain the Pope’s discretion in addressing the invasion of Russia.

Although the Pope has personally gone to see Russia’s ambassador to the Vatican and has asked for prayers and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, in his recent interventions Francis has not explicitly held Russia accountable.

Other Roman Curia officials have spoken out against the conflict. The Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, called for an immediate end to the military attack. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, called Russia’s action “unjustified” and “senseless.

On the same day, March 3, Patriarch Kirill received China’s ambassador to Russia, Zhang Hanhui, , at the monastery of St. Daniel. (FM).

More by Gaudium Press  Pope Marks 800th Anniversary of St. Francis' Stigmata

Compiled by Dominic Joseph



Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected


Latest Articles