In a talk with the director of the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, published on Monday, Francisco explained the importance Moscow globally, especially for peace in the Middle East, as a great protector of harshly persecuted Christians in that region.
Kiril, 69 and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, has extensive experience in matters of diplomacy and is an expert on Vatican affairs, in addition to being considered a loyal ally of President Vladimir Putin.
“Russia can it give much” for peace, acknowledged in a conversation with Italian daily Pope Francisco, who, like his two predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, also dreams of visiting Moscow.
Francisco has been very critical of the West for his performance in the Middle East, and the way with which they have faced the crisis in Libya “before and after military intervention.”
The head of the Catholic Church, a few hours ahead of his departure for Mexico, where it will remain until February 17, will talk about two hours with Kiril at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana.
Through the mediation of the president of the Councils of State and Ministers, Army General Raul Castro, the Bishop of Rome will serve as a “bridge” between Christians, far from controversy and conflict.
“Cuba is outside Europe and its development, is a sort of crossroads of the world today,” said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.
The fourth visit of a Pope, Cuba is presented as a neutral ground for the first meeting since the Great Schism of 1054 between Eastern and Western Christians.
His Holiness represents 1,200 million baptized, and the largest Orthodox Church about 130 million of the approximately 250 million Orthodox that is in the world.
The meeting has two interrelated objectives: world peace and ecumenism.
For the representative of the Catholic Church Christians must fight together against Islamic radicalism and considered martyrs all Christians, whether Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox, victims of persecution in Syria and Nigeria.
“The issue of the persecution of Christians is fundamental. The current situation in the Middle East, North Africa and Central East and some other regions where extremists are making a real genocide of Christian populations, requires effective coordination among Christian churches, “he said in a statement the Russian Orthodox Church.
Translated by:Daysi Olano Fernandez