PATRIARCH KIRILL REFUSED TO MEET WITH POPE FRANCIS IN KRAKOW "BECAUSE OF THE POSITION OF THE CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF POLAND ON UKRAINE"
Portal-credo.ru, 3 June 2015
The head of the RPTsMP Kirill did not accept an invitation to participate in events connected with the conduct of the World Day of Youth in Krakow in 2016. This was reported on 30 May by the Siberian Catholic Newspaper, with reference to the Austrian Catholic News Agency Kathpress.
Archbishop of Krakow Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz said that the chairman of OVTsSMP, Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Ilarion, wrote him a letter in the name of Patriarch Kirill, in which he reported that RPTsMP had received the invitation, but "at the present time he cannot give a positive answer." The reason (or excuse) given for such a decision was the position of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Poland on Ukraine.
Dziwisz expressed regret that the patriarch had declined the invitation. He said that he did not understand why the leader of RPTsMP "does not want to take advantage of such an important opportunity for ecumenical dialogue." The World Day of Youth will be held in Krakow from 26 to 31 July 2016.
Cardinal Dziwisz relayed to Metropolitan Ilarion the invitation for Kirill back at the time of a meeting in Krakow in early December 2013. "I want to assure you that it will be awaited with great enthusiasm," he said at the time.
With respect to the conflict in Ukraine, the Polish Catholic bishops stated a position supporting the pro-western course of the eastern neighboring country at a time when the Moscow patriarchate was opposing it in every way. Instead the RPTsMP completely supports the harsh criticism of the policy of the West with respect to Ukraine that is expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Dziwisz reported that it is expected that up to two and a half million persons will take part in the concluding mass of the World Day of Youth with Francis. (tr. by PDS, posted 5 June 2015)
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