A Papal website has reported that a meeting is likely between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Benedict the XVI in Finland. According to the Catholic Culture website, representatives from both the Roman Catholics and the Moscow Patriarchate have stated reports of the discussion were factual.
From the article:
A long-awaited meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow could take place in Finland, Finnish Christian leaders believe.
In June, Patriarch Kirill met with three Christian leaders from Finland who were visiting Moscow: Archbishop Leo of the Finnish Autonomous Orthodox Church Archbishop Kari Mäkinen of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the Catholic Bishop Teemu Sippo of Helsinki. The three prelates brought an invitation for the Russian Patriarch to make an official visit to Finland. Archbishop Leo, the Finnish Orthodox leader, has indicated that he is confident the Russian Orthodox leader will accept the invitation.
Later, a newscast by Finland’s national Yle-Uutiset network quoted Vatican officials as suggesting that Finland could be an appropriate site for a “summit meeting” between the Pope and the Russian Patriarch. The report indicated that Bishop Sippo made that suggestion during his meeting with Patriarch Kirill in Moscow. Informed sources in both Catholic and Orthodox circles in Helsinki have confirmed the accuracy of the news story.
It is worth noting that this ongoing discussion about a meeting is largely a cover for what is really happening. As the Moscow Patriarchate’s head ecumenist, Kirill Gundayev has already met with the Pope– repeatedly. This ridiculous idea– that as Patriarch, suddenly Kirill has become anything but the opportunistic ecumenist he already was before he put on the Patriarchal koukoul– is a sham designed to let the MP people believe that they are keeping their “Orthodoxy” pure from Rome.
The truth is a Pope-Patriarch visit would be damaging because it would obviously reveal the truth of their relationship. This meeting probably isn’t happening, but not because Kirill is afraid of meeting the Pope. This meeting isn’t happening because Kirill is afraid of his people finally turning on him.
Based on that, we can place a pretty strong bet that– especially now, in the wake of the MP being mired in public scandal– this statement was released to make some ecumenist financiers happy, and nothing will happen here. Now next year, with the anniversary of the edict of Milan…. all bets are off.