Despite famine, religious wars, worldwide conflict and the spread of civilization, the heads of the Roman Catholic and the Russian Orthodox churches haven’t spoken since the Great Schism of 1054 shattered Christendom, so they had a lot of catching up to do when they sat down for their historic meeting Friday afternoon in Cuba.
“We are brothers,” Francis said as he embraced Kirill in the small, wood-paneled VIP room of Havana’s airport, where the three-hour encounter took place.
“Now things are easier,” Kirill agreed as he and the pope exchanged three kisses on the cheek. “This is the will of God,” the pope said.
In the 30-point statement, the two leaders declared themselves ready to take all necessary measures to overcome their historical differences, saying “we are not competitors, but brothers.”
Francis and Kirill also called for political leaders to act on the single most important issue of shared concern between the Catholic and Orthodox churches today: the plight of Christians in Iraq and Syria who are being killed and driven from their homes by the Islamic State group.
322 total views, 1 views today