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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pope to Meet Patriarch?

VATICAN CITY () -- Pope John Paul II will pay a two-day visit to Hungary in September, a trip that raises the possibility of a long-awaited meeting with the Orthodox Russian patriarch.


Papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said Friday that John Paul will visit Pannonhalma on Sept. 6 to mark the 1,000th-year anniversary of a Benedictine monastery. The following day he will travel to Gyor, on the Danube River, to meet with Hungarian bishops.


The trip will be the pope's second to Hungary following a visit in August 1991. The new visit was originally expected to take place in June, at the end of a three-day trip to Germany.


Moscow Patriarch Alexy II was also invited in June, and a meeting with John Paul was seen as a way of overcoming tensions over what the Orthodox Church sees as zealous missionary work by Roman Catholics in Russia.