2018-02-02 14:22:00

Russian society not ready for pope to visit - Catholic priest

Moscow, February 2, Interfax - Priest Igor Kovalevsky, the general secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Russia, said he does not see the possibility of the pope visiting Moscow.

"I will give my personal, private opinion. I don't see the possibility of a visit by the pope to Russia. Russian society is not currently ready for that. Why rush things?" he said at a press conference in Moscow on Friday.

Kovalevsky referred to an Orthodox bishop who said that Orthodox and Catholic Christians believe in "different gods."

"I think his words were misinterpreted. Something was said differently, and the information was reported by a Ukrainian agency, they could have mistranslated it, but there is currently no official refutation," the priest said, adding that "it is not a problem for dialogue" between the two churches.

Nevertheless, Kovalevsky believes that it would be good for Russian society for the pope to visit. "But I don't think [it can happen] today," he said.