Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pope Will Receive Russian Pres. Putin on Nov. 25; Visit May Improve Cath.-Russian Orth. Relations

Pope Francis will receive Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 25 -- an encounter that could help mend strained relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church -- the Global Post website reports today (November 7, 2013).

Russian-Vatican relations have been fraught since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, with Moscow accusing the Roman Catholic Church of trying to poach believers from the Russian Orthodox Church -- a charge the Vatican denies.

But Putin is the first Kremlin leader since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to publicly profess religious faith -- to the Orthodox Church -- and has several times advocated ending the long feud between the two major Christian churches.

On his Vatican visit, Putin could invite Pope Francis to visit Russia, diplomats said.

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