President Vladimir Putin met Pope Francis within the Vatican on Thursday, amid indicators of nearer ties between the Kremlin and the Roman Catholic Church.
The assembly got here a day earlier than the Pope is because of maintain talks in Rome with leaders of Ukraine’s Greek-Catholic Church to debate the battle in that nation. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church final 12 months formally break up from the Russian Orthodox Church amid tensions between Kiev and Moscow over the battle in jap Ukraine.
The Pope and Putin “expressed their satisfaction” at how ties are growing, the Vatican stated in an internet site assertion. They mentioned the position of the Catholic Church in Russia in addition to ecological points and worldwide affairs together with the scenario in Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela, in line with the assertion.
The assembly is the third between the 2 leaders, with the final one held in 2015. The pinnacle of 1.2 billion Catholics additionally had an historic encounter with Patriarch Kirill, chief of the Russian Orthodox Church, in Cuba in 2016. Putin will even meet Italian leaders together with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte throughout his one-day go to to Rome.
Ties have been strained for hundreds of years between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church because the Nice Schism of 1054 that break up jap and western Christianity over theological variations. The Russian Orthodox Church accused Catholics of making an attempt to win converts following the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union, stopping John Paul II from fulfilling his long-held want to journey to Russia.
Till the Cuba assembly, the pinnacle of the Russian Church had by no means met with the Roman pontiff due to doctrinal variations in addition to arguments over the management of Ukrainian Christians.
Kremlin overseas coverage aide Yuri Ushakov stated on Wednesday that Putin has no plans but to ask Francis to make a go to to Russia, and that the query needs to be thought of along with the patriarch.
Should-read tales from Fortune:
—Switzerland’s stock-trading standoff with the EU offers a glimpse of life after Brexit
—The Bahrain Convention: What the specialists and the media missed
—Ford’s new plan for Europe: Fewer jobs, extra SUVs
—The British Royal Household’s prices are skyrocketing. Right here’s why
—Take heed to our new audio briefing, Fortune 500 Each day
Meet up with Information Sheet, Fortune’s each day digest on the enterprise of tech.