Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lukashenko: Pope hopes to meet with Russian Patriarch soon

Rome, April 28, Interfax - Pope Benedict XVI is hoping his meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia may take place in the nearest future, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in Rome on Tuesday while summing up the results of his visit to the Vatican.

"The Pope said literally the following: 'Maybe God will open this door and we will meet soon,'" Lukashenko quoted the Pope as saying.

Lukashenko said he had informed the Pope of his recent meeting with Patriarch Kirill.

"I told him that now there is a unique chance to become closer. I wanted the heads of the Churches to meet and discuss issues. If such a meeting happens, it should happen in Belarus, which is not only the geographical center of Europe, but also a place where the main Christian religions meet," said Lukashenko.

Lukashenko said his meeting with the Pope addressed "many issues, including relationships between religions." "We discussed the relations between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches," he said.