Quick Summary of Common Declaration Signed by Pope and Patriarch

30 Paragraphs that cover a variety of themes

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Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Pope Francis joyously signed a common declaration today in Havana, following a 2.5 hour meeting between the two.
The 30-paragraph statement covers a variety of themes.
Here is a quick summary:
Paragraphs 1-3: Notes on their meeting, for which they give thanks and point out that meeting in Cuba, in the New World has had special significance
Paragraphs 4-7: A consideration of Orthodox and Catholic history — a millennium united and a millennium in division, a division that is due to “human weakness and of sin” and despite Christ’s prayer “that they may be one.” A pledge to unite efforts to overcome the divergences
Paragraphs 8-12: Reflections on the sufferings being endured by Christians and others in the Middle East and Africa, and affirmation that the martyrs of our day are “a pledge of the unity of Christians”
Paragraphs 13: Affirmation of the importance of interreligious dialogue and declaration that no crime can be committed in God’s name
Paragraphs 14-16: Notes on increasing threats to religious freedom, and a call to Europe to remember its Christian roots
Paragraphs 17-18: A word about those who suffer injustice: the poor, migrants and refugees
Paragraphs 19-21: A defense of family and marriage, and the inalienable right to life
Paragraphs 22-23: An appeal to youth
Paragraphs 24-27: A note on various tensions between Orthodox and Catholics, including the ideas of proselytism and evangelization, and mention of the problem of “uniatism,” and the conflict in Ukraine
Paragraph 28: Acknowledgment that the world needs a united witness: “Much of the future of humanity will depend on our capacity to give shared witness to the Spirit of truth in these difficult times.”
Paragraphs 29-30: Affirmation of hope in Christ and a prayer that Our Lady will “inspire fraternity in all those who venerate her, so that they may be reunited, in God’s own time, in the peace and harmony of the one people of God, for the glory of the Most Holy and indivisible Trinity!”

On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full text: https://zenit.org/articles/joint-declaration-from-pope-francis-and-patriarch-kirill/

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Kathleen Naab

United States

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