CWN - Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has said that he hopes to lay the foundation for a papal visit to Russia when he visits Moscow later this month.
Cardinal Parolin told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera that “a possible visit to Russia by the Holy Father” will be one of the key items on the agenda for his discussions with Russian officials. The cardinal is due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill during his trip, which will take place August 20 to 24.
Pope John Paul II had long sought to arrange a visit to Russia, but his hopes were dashed by opposition from the Moscow patriarchate. Relations between Rome and Moscow have thawed under Pope Francis, and the two arranged an unprecedented personal meeting in Cuba in February 2016.