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Why the Pope and Putin?

Vatican ties help Russia portray itself as bulwark of traditional values, in contrast to secularized Europe.

By JACOPO BARIGAZZI  Published: 11th August 2017, 4:05 AM CET

Pope Francis, left, meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Vatican

An increasingly belligerent Vladimir Putin is finding a new friend in a man of peace: Pope Francis.

The Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, is scheduled to fly to Moscow on August 20 to meet the Russian president and Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The four-day visit — the first of its kind since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 — is another step in a deepening relationship that began in September 2013, when Francis wrote an open letter to Putin, who was chairing the G20, to express his opposition to a U.S. military intervention in Syria.

In that letter, “the Pope asked Putin to pray for him, and it seems this line touched Putin,” said Andrea Riccardi, the founder of the Rome-based Sant’Egidio community, a humanitarian organization that sometimes serves as an unofficial arm of Vatican diplomacy.

The request — unusual for a diplomatic letter — was a recognition of the Christian identity Putin has assiduously cultivated. Putin no doubt also appreciated the Pope’s message given that the Kremlin was one of the more vocal critics of U.S. military action in Syria.

“Like Trump, Francis faces criticism from his base over his Russia policy” — John L. Allen, author on the Vatican

A few months later, in November, Putin went to Rome to meet Francis for the first time (he had already met his predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict). The Russian president showed up about 50 minutes late but this didn’t stop the pope from welcoming him again in June 2015 (when Putin was more than an hour late). Francis greeted Putin in German, and the meeting lasted 50 minutes, far longer than Francis’ meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, which went on for 29 minutes.

For Putin, a visible relationship with the Vatican is an opportunity to highlight Russia’s effort to portray itself as a bulwark of morality and traditional values in contrast to an increasingly secularized Europe.

This devloping closeness is a very interesting and highlights something Bible Students have been expecting and watching this development for some years. Bible Prophecy has revealed to us that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches will be United once more, before Christ's Return. Further Prophecy tells us that both Europe and Russia will be united under one Religion being Catholicism both West and East. This development goes hand in hand with Britain's Exit from the EU and Russia's rise to the position of being a "guard' unto the EU as per Ezekiel 38:8.

See this article here to learn about this: Catholic and Orthodox Churches to UNITE

See also Alignment of the Nations in the Last Days Prior to Christ's Return