CWN - Metropolitan Hilarion, the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, met on June 26 with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State.

The two “agreed on the need for closer cooperation between the two Churches in seeking a peaceful settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine and giving aid to those who need it,” according to the Moscow Patriarchate.

Metropolitan Hilarion praised improving Orthodox-Catholic relations in Belarus, and the two also discussed the situation of Christians in the Middle East.

On June 26, Metropolitan Hilarion also met with Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. “They discussed a wide range of issues concerning the common responsibility of the Orthodox and the Catholics in defending the traditional family,” according to the patriarchate.

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