Europe

Pope-Russian Orthodox talks precede Putin visit

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has met with the foreign minister of the Russian Orthodox Church ahead of a Nov. 25 visit to the Vatican by President Vladimir Putin.

The Vatican released no details of Tuesday's meeting with Metropolitan Hilarion, in Rome for a Catholic-Orthodox conference on family values. Simultaneously in Moscow, a top Italian cardinal involved in Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, Cardinal Angelo Scola, met with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.

While there was no word about any possible meeting between Kirill and Francis — long-sought by the Vatican — officials say it's likely Francis will meet the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, in Jerusalem in the first half of 2014.

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