On June 15, with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Metropolitan Antony of Volokolamsk, the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, paid a visit to the Vatican.
On June 16, 2023, the Metropolitan met with the State Secretary of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
Metropolitan Anthony greeted the Cardinal on behalf of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Then, Cardinal Parolin recalled the meeting he had with the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church during his visit to Russia. During their meeting, which was held in a warm climate, the Metropolitan and the Cardinal discussed various issues related to the bilateral relations between the two churches.
Let us recall that Metropolitan Antony of Volokolamsk was present at a speech delivered by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square, and while greeting the Pope, he stayed longer in conversation with him than with others.
Metropolitan Anthony had several meetings with other Vatican officials, but it was not clear whether he would have a personal meeting with the Pope during his visit to Rome.
It is noteworthy that Cardinal Pietro Parolin insisted that there was a plan for an expedition but that it was up to the Pope to decide when to talk about it publicly.
Cardinal Parolin, who is the second most important figure in the Vatican, said he was surprised that Russian and Ukrainian officials were unaware of the plan at the time.