Today: Monday, 16 September 2019 year

Putin meets pope as relations thaw between Russia, Vatican

Putin meets pope as relations thaw between Russia, Vatican

Vladimir Putin paid an official one-day visit to the Vatican where he met Pope The historical Thursday meeting symbolizes the signs of closer ties between Russia and Holy See, Miami Herald reported.

The relations between the Roman Catholic Church and Moscow weren’t too warm over centuries. Vladimir Putin’s visit to the Vatican means a lot for both states, the meeting came a day before the pontiff is due to hold talks with leaders of Ukraine’s Greek-Catholic Church to discuss the conflict in that country.

The meeting with Pope Francis would focus on Syria and Ukraine confirmed the Kremlin spokesman. It was the third meeting between the Russian leader and the pontiff. Vladimir Putin also met with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte during his visit to Rome.

Russia, Vatican relations were strained for centuries

The Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic one never showed the sighs of warm relations. Since the Great Schism of 1054 that split eastern and western Christianity over theological differences. the ties have been strained for centuries.

The 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union has deepened the breach between two Churches. Both them had too many mutual accusations when it was about trying to win converts, even preventing John Paul II from fulfilling his long-held wish to travel to Moscow.

Until the Cuba meeting, the head of the Russian Church Kirill had never met with the Roman pontiff because of doctrinal differences as well as arguments over the leadership of Ukrainian Christians.