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Monday, December 16, 2013


Vatican City, 14 December 2013 (VIS) – Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, will visit St. Petersburg and Moscow in the Russian Federation from 14 to 19 December, to meet with various representatives of the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church.

The cardinal will be received by the Patriarch Kirill II of Moscow and all Russia, and will also encounter the Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow, who was received in audience by Pope Francis on 12 November. In the Moscow Theological Academy the cardinal will speak at a conference on the progress made in dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, and will visit the monastery of Lavre Alexander Venski, which will celebrate its third centenary this year.

During his visit to the Russian Federation, upon invitation by Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, ordinary of the Catholic archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, Cardinal Koch will preside at the jubilee commemoration of the Basilica of St. Catherine of Alexandria in St. Petersburg and will speak with Catholic clergy within the framework of pastoral encounters dedicated to Vatican Council II and ecumenical dialogue.

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