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Russia’s Patriarch Kirill Discusses Ukraine Conflict With Pope Francis

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In a statement, the Russian Orthodox Church said that on Wednesday, Patriarch Kirill of Russia and Pope Francis discussed the situation in Ukraine.

During the meeting, a detailed discussion of the situation in Ukraine was held. In particular, attention was paid to the humanitarian aspects of the current crisis, as well as the actions were taken by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church to combat the consequences of the crisis. According to the statement, “the parties stressed the exceptional importance of the ongoing negotiations, expressing their hope that a just peace would come as soon as possible.”

Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis discussed a number of issues of bilateral cooperation as well, according to a statement made by the Vatican.

Some context: It has also been reported that the Pope has appealed for peace during the war, met with the Russian ambassador to the Vatican, and will hold an extraordinary prayer called a “consecration” for Russia and Ukraine next week.

According to Patriarch Kirill, the conflict is an extension of a clash of cultures between the wider Russian world and the West’s liberal values, exemplified by expressions such as homosexual pride parades. According to experts, Kirill’s remarks offer important insights into Putin’s larger spiritual vision that he intends to return to the Russian Empire, in which Orthodox Christianity plays a central role.

Kirill said in a speech just three days after Russia invaded Ukraine that “we must not let dark and hostile external forces laugh at us. We must do everything within our power to preserve peace between our peoples and at the same time to protect our fatherland against all actions outside of our control that can destroy it.”

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