The Pope meets the Russian envoy; decree of martyrdom of priests based in Ukraine

ROMAN — Pope Francis met with a top official of the Russian Orthodox Church on Friday ahead of a scheduled meeting next month in Kazakhstan with the Russian Orthodox leader, Patriarch Kirill, who justified for the war in Ukraine.

The first audience between Pope Francis and the new director of the foreign relations office of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Anthony. He replaced the Vatican’s longtime liaison with the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion, who was moved to Hungary after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Both the Pope and Kirill confirmed their presence in Kazakhstan to attend the government-organized interfaith meeting, the “Congress of Leaders of Traditional and World Religions,” from the 14th. until September 15. If they meet on the sidelines of the congress, it will be the second meeting between a pope and a Russian pontiff, after a meeting in June was canceled because of a diplomatic failure over the meeting. Russian invasion.

Kirill justified the invasion of Ukraine on spiritual and ideological grounds, calling it a “metaphysical” battle with the West. He blessed Russian soldiers who went to war and introduced the idea that Russians and Ukrainians are one people.

Francis’ audience with Kirill’s envoy came the same day the Pope made a decision that had symbolic significance for some Ukrainian Catholics: He proclaimed a Ruthenian Greek Catholic priest underground who served during Soviet times in Ukraine, Father Petros Oros, a martyr, quickly-follows him on his path to possible sainthood. Oros lived from 1917 until 1953, when he was killed by Soviet troops out of hatred of the faith, the Vatican said in a statement.

The Holy See’s internal communications agency, Vatican News, said Oros was shot in the chin hours after performing a secret Holy Mass in Siltse. At the time, Catholics were persecuted and Oros’ spiritual regime persecuted, and the Vatican notes that Oros was pressured to move to the Russian Orthodox Church but “resisted, remained faithful.” with the pope.”

According to Vatican regulations for martyrs, Oros can now be beatified – the first step towards becoming a saint – without the need for a miracle attributed to his intercession. It takes a miracle to canonize a saint.

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