In an interview with AsiaNews, the Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion of Vienna said that Metropolitan Kirill might be a member of Putin’s delegation on the visit to Rome. Metropolitan Kirill is the chief ecumenical-affairs officer for the Moscow patriarchate.
Preparations for the meeting between the Pope and President Putin have revived discussions about the prospects for a meeting between the Pontiff and Russian Patriarch Alexei II. In the past, Putin has said that he hopes to act as a catalyst for talks between Rome and Moscow.
In his AsiaNews interview Bishop Hilarion said that relations between the Holy See and the Moscow patriarchate have been improving steadily in recent months.