Serbian Orthodox Church Welcomes Russian Patriarch, Pope Meeting

FILE - In this file photo combination Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, right, serves the Christmas Mass in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 and Pope Francis prays during an audience at the Vatican on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 12/2/16

Serbian church spokesman said that Serbian Orthodox Church welcomes the meeting of Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and Pope Francis in Cuba on Friday.

BELGRADE (Sputnik) – The Serbian Orthodox Church welcomes the meeting of Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and Pope Francis in Cuba on Friday, Serbian church spokesman Bishop Irinej said.

“The Serbian Orthodox Church consistently and with best prayer wishes supports the efforts of Patriarch Kirill and our sister the Russian Orthodox Church to dialogue and cooperation with responsible representatives of the Christian world,” Bishop Irinej said in a press statement published on Wednesday.

The bishop underscored the need for the two religious leaders to address the genocide perpetrated against the Christian population in the Middle East, as well as issues in Africa.

He noted that Orthodox Serbs have lived for centuries with their Catholic neighbors in Croatia “unfortunately as de-facto second-class citizens,” adding that Pope Francis and the Vatican support the granted of equal standing to the Orthodox Church in the Balkan country.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” the bishop underscored.

The meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill is hailed as the first ever meeting between the heads of the two major Christian denominations.