“Subjects dear” to Pope Francis “will be the order of the day,” during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Monsignor Paolo Pezzi, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God at Moscow: the “progress of peace, protection of our common home and defense of creation.”
In an interview with “Vatican News” on July 1, 2019, Monsignor Pezzi spoke about the meeting between the Pope and the Russian President, which will be held in the Vatican on July 4. It’s the third face-to-face meeting between Pope Francis and President Putin: the first took place on November 25, 2013, and the second, on June 10, 2015. After taking up bilateral relations in 1990, the Holy See and the Russian Federation established complete diplomatic relations in 2009.
The question of peace can’t be absent from the agenda of this new meeting, said Monsignor Pezzi, as “Russia is an essential nation for peace, which can permit the attainment of such an important objective.” “And the Pope is very sensitive to the pacification between peoples,” he added. “He has repeated it often. “
In regard to the possibility that the Russian President may invite the Pope to Russia, Monsignor Pezzi believed “it’s not in Vladimir Putin’s intentions.” “I don’t think that the Russian President can take such a step by his own will, without having the clear support of the Orthodox Church.”
“Pope Francis holds that it’s up to the political power to issue a formal invitation. However, it must be above all the religious reality of the link in question that must be interested in receiving the Pope. And, up to know, it seems to me that, on the part of the Orthodox Church in Russia, the most significant religious element, there is no official invitation,” added the Metropolitan Archbishop of Moscow.