Vladimir Putin congratulated Pope Francis on his 80th birthday.
December 17, 2016 12:00
The message reads, in part:
“You fruitful activities in promoting high spiritual and moral values, expanding the inter-faith and inter-civilisational dialogue have won you sincere respect from millions of people around the world.
It is thanks to your personal efforts, your wisdom and sagacity that a historic breakthrough occurred in Orthodox-Catholic communication, as well as a considerable enhancement of the Russia-Vatican relations.
I have fond memories of our conversations in the Vatican in 2013 and 2015. I hope that we will be able to meet again in the near future to have a thorough discussion of the current challenges facing the modern world.
Your Holiness, please accept my heartfelt wishes of good health, well-being and new successes in your noble and responsible mission.”