Pope Francis plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin
Pope Francis will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 25 at Vatican, according to the Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi. On the following day, the Pope will meet with the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano. The first meeting between Pope Francis and the Russian President comes after the Holy Father sent a letter on September 05, at the opening of the G-20 summit, calling on the group’s leaders to set aside the “useless” search for a military solution to the conflict in Syria and to pursue a peaceful resolution through dialogue and negotiation.
Upon his election to the papacy, Pope Francis received a letter of congratulations from Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church in which he expressed his hope that Orthodox and Catholic believers would join forces to defend persecuted Christians in the world and to promote traditional values amidst the widespread secularism.
Pope Francis will be the third Pope to meet with President Putin. On March 13, 2007, the Russian leader met with Benedict XVI. John Paul II met with Putin twice during his pontificate, first in 2000 and second time in 2003.
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