Pope meets Russian Orthodox number two ahead of meeting with Patriarch

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By Philip Pullella (Reuters) – Pope Francis met Bishop Antonij, the second most powerful leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, on Friday ahead of an expected summit next month with its Patriarch Kirill, who supports the war in Ukraine. It was their first meeting since Antonij’s predecessor, Hilarion, was ousted in June in an abrupt decision indicating discord at the top of the Moscow Patriarchate over the conflict. The Vatican listed Antonij on the pope’s official appointments but gave no details of what was discussed in the private audience. The pope will attend a congress of religious leade…

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