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Pope plans peace mission to Kazakhstan

The Vatican has announced that the Holy Father will visit Kazakhstan to attend an interreligious meeting where he intends to meet Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.

The meeting, which will take place in the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan, will take place in September.

The Vatican announced yesterday that Pope Francis had accepted the invitation of the civil and ecclesial authorities to attend the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

However, the statement itself did not mention a meeting between the Holy Father and the Patriarch.

The Patriarch has backed the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on 24 February, which has caused a rift with the Vatican.

The Holy Father had said in an interview in May that Patriarch Kirill ‘cannot become Putin’s altar boy’.

Pope Francis had planned to speak with the Patriarch on 14 June in Jerusalem which was ultimately canceled.

If the meeting in Kazakhstan does occur, it will be the second between a Pope and Russian Orthodox Church leader since the Great Schism of 1054.

Caption: President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Patriarch Kirill.

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