Francis and Kirill, Together at Last

After a millennium of divisions, the Pope and Patriarch are together in Cuba

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Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church are spending some two hours together in a meeting today at Havana’s airport.
The Pope is on the way to Mexico and the Patriarch is visiting Orthodox Churches in Latin America.
The meeting of these two leaders has been in negotiations since the Second Vatican Council, and particularly under the leadership of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI and now Francis.
Pope Francis had stated that he was willing to meet the Patriarch anytime and anywhere.
The Patriarch’s official for external Church relations has said that the meeting is taking place now because of the genocide of Christians in Africa and the Middle East, a tragedy that overshadows ongoing tensions between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
At 4:30 local time in Cuba, they are set to jointly release a common declaration.
The Pope has asked all Christian faithful to have the meeting in prayer.

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Kathleen Naab

United States

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