A Personal Invitation from Dr. Robert Moynihan:

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has asked to be received in audience by Pope Francis in two days, on Wednesday, June 10, and Pope Francis has agreed to the meeting.

What is the purpose of this unexpected encounter?

No information has yet been made public, but we know that it comes at a time of great tension between Russia and the West.

s with Russian President Vladimir Putin during private audience at Vatican
Here is one hypothesis: Putin, perhaps, would like to find a way to break through the heavy financial sanctions that have been imposed on Russia, and he may be reaching out to Pope Francis as the one world leader who might receive him with a willingness to initiate a conversation which might lead to a reduction of tension — which might lead toward peace.

And it seems possible that Putin may make a dramatic gesture: he may invite Francis to visit Russia… and Francis, as a man of peace, may willingly accept the invitation.

Francis has made very clear that he is a Pope willing to do the unexpected.

And he has made clear that he would like to be a Pope who, through prayer and diplomacy, can help to build bridges of trust, bridges to help resolve seemingly intractable conflicts — as he has done with Cuba, as he did with Syria in September of 2013 with his vigil of prayer for peace in St. Peter’s Square.

In this context, a dramatic breakthrough also in regard to the Kremlin and Putin might be possible.

Pope Francis is leading the way, and perhaps we can have the privilege of following him, of joining with him in his efforts to “build bridges.”

Francis stands as a constant reminder to the world that we should offer forgiveness in the face of persecution. He offers a constant call to the world to return to peace, as he himself focuses his pastoral visits in Europe around the theme of peace and unity.

In this context, it is my privilege to invite you to participate in a special opportunity — in July I will be going on a two-week pilgrimage to Moscow, Istanbul, and Rome. As you may know, Inside the Vatican has organized such pilgrimages before, and I want you to join me on this one.

It is a pilgrimage seeking greater unity between the East and West, and is dedicated to the intention of peace in our world. Space is limited and the deadline is approaching soon, so, if you feel called to join us, please contact my office today to reserve your place in this life-changing adventure.

All of our pilgrimages are planned to be quiet and prayerful, not rushed. We want your journey with us to be a peaceful, enjoyable, unforgettable experience, one that enriches your life and deepens your faith. Although we will visit many very special places, our journey is a pilgrimage, not a tour. The spiritual dimension – the search for a deeper understanding of God and a better appreciation of the history and life of the Church – is central. This is why the pace of our pilgrimages will be slow and peaceful, not hurried. There will be time to reflect and to pray.

Looking forward to traveling with you to Russia, Istanbul and Vatican City.

– Robert Moynihan
Founder and editor of Inside the Vatican magazine
President of the Urbi et Orbi Foundation

What Previous Pilgrims Have Said…

Richard Corr, Cleveland, Ohio – “These pilgrimages are unlike any other journey I’ve ever been on. We went places I could only have dreamed of going but at a leisurely and prayerful pace. I have been on two and will go again.”

Harold Bumb, Naples, Florida – “I enjoyed the trip tremendously! I will repeat it!”

Trudy Bumb, Naples, Florida – “I have been on many pilgrimages — large and small groups. This was a small group and it was fantastic! You could not ask for sweeter and more intelligent pilgrimage leaders. Their spirituality was phenomenal. We will return!”

Michael Waitkus, Detroit, Michigan – “I would highly recommend this trip because you have the rare privilege to travel with Robert Moynihan, the editor and founder of Inside the Vatican magazine. Robert’s knowledge of our faith and the places we visit is extraordinary. The small group makes for an intimate experience. The places we visited were amazing and exclusive!”

To reserve your spot or for more information
[email protected]
or call

Inside the Vatican Magazine’s
Pilgrimage for Peace
July 9-July 22, 2015

  • MOSCOW, Russia: 5 nights just next to Red Square in the historic Hotel Metropol in Moscow


    St. Basil’s Cathedral

  • Spiritual reflections throughout the pilgrimage from monks, priests, Church officials, historians and even former Gulag prisoners
  • Attend meetings with leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church and of the Roman Catholic Church in Moscow
  • Meet with pro-life and pro-family officials in the Russian parliament 
  • Tour the Kremlin
  • jpeg-3

    Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

  •  Visit the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, the most important Russian monastery and the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church
  • ISTANBUL, Turkey: 3 nights in a five-star hotel, Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel 
  •  Visit the Phanar, the home of the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate, and be received in a formal meeting by His All Holiness Bartholomew, Patriarch since 1991

Pope Benedict venerating the Holy Face of Manoppello

  • Tour Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar
  • ROME, Italy: 4 nights in a very special residence in Rome
  • Visit major basilicas of Rome  


  • Visit with several leading Vatican officials


    St. Peter in St. Peter’s Piazza

  • All meals with Dr. Robert Moynihan, the editor and founder of Inside the Vatican magazine

To reserve your spot:

Email [email protected]

or call 202.536.4555

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