- Nov 24, 2020
Pope Francis will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Vatican next month, a day before Catholic leaders from Ukraine gather at the Holy See to discuss the continuing conflict there and the fallout from the schism between the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox churches.
Ukrainian Orthodox leaders on Saturday approved the creation of a unified church independent of the Moscow Patriarchate and elected a leader to head that new church — a move that could exponentially raise tensions with neighboring Russia.
A quick look at the main speakers at a massive gathering in Rome on the Mediterranean region points to who may be the Vatican’s major allies or opponents in international diplomacy.
“Beauty builds bridges,” said Barbara Jatta, the director of the Vatican Museums, commenting on the new Vatican/Russian exhibit in St. Peter’s.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church chaired a meeting of top priests Friday to decide how to respond to the move by Orthodox Christianity’s leading body to send two envoys to Ukraine.
As President Donald Trump tries to spin his summit with Putin as a success, Pope Francis may be nearing another crossroads in his own relationship with Russia.