Mon 01 August 2022:
Pope Francis will visit Kazakhstan in September for a gathering of spiritual leaders, the Vatican announced on Monday.
Prior to the event, the pope expressed his desire to meet with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Francis will be attending the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Nur-Sultan from September 13 through 15, according to a statement from the Vatican.
Francis has said in several recent interviews that he hopes to meet there with Kirill, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Vatican statement announcing the trip did not mention Kirill. The statement was released in Russian as well as Italian and English. Kazakh and Russian are the country’s two official languages.
Kirill has endorsed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine wholeheartedly.
Francis and Kirill had arranged to meet last month in Jerusalem following a trip to Lebanon, but they both had to cancel.
In 2001, when it was still known as Astana, the late Pope John Paul II paid a visit to the Kazakh capital.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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