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Russian Patriarch Makes 'Historic' Antarctica Visit

Russian media report that Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has flown to Antarctica to say Mass at a scientific research station.

Kirill’s spokesman Aleksandr Volkov said on February 17 that Kirill flew to Russia's Bellingshausen scientific station on the Island of Waterloo from Punta Arenas in southern Chile where he had wrapped up his Latin American tour.

"This is an historic event in the life of Russian Orthodoxy, a proof that the Russian Orthodox Church exercises its office on all continents," Volkov said.

He said the service, to be attended by “polar explorers,” will be held at the Holy Trinity Church, the only Orthodox place of worship in Antarctica.

Last week, Kirill held a historic meeting with Roman Catholic Pope Francis in Cuba. As leaders of two of the largest branches of Christianity with 1.3 billion combined followers, they pledged to work for unity in the future.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS