Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill are giving an example through their historic encounter in Cuba.
This was expressed by Father Alexandre Volkov, spokesman of the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, speaking about when the Pope and Patriarch signed a common declaration in Havana, following a 2.5 hour meeting between the two, before the Pope would go to Mexico.
The 30-paragraph statement covered a variety of themes.
Father Volkov posted his impressions on the Russian Orthodox site (Pravoslavie i mir – Orthodoxy and the World), on Feb. 13, the day after their Havana meeting.
“I think that Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis give an example to others of the way the dialogue must be constructed. Even in the most difficult situations, we can find a way to common actions and to advancements,” he observed.
Fr. Volkov said his impressions of the meeting were ‘very positive,’ acknowledging it was “a much-awaited meeting, prepared for a long time, many people have placed their hopes in it.”
“The meeting took place in a very friendly and fraternal atmosphere.”
He noted how even though this was the first time Francis and the Patriarch met, it seemed as if they had known one another for a long time. He added how the established mutual understanding was established on numerous subjects.
Father Volkov highlighted that the Patriarch and the Pope “have a very good idea of one another, so that we can say that this meeting constitutes the beginning of a new stage in mutual relations.”
“At the same time,” the spokesman added, “nothing revolutionary happened and could not happen to shake the foundations during the meeting. Questions of a theological, dogmatic, and doctrinal nature were not addressed during the course of the meeting. Whereupon a common declaration was signed, which found a place in a very honest and sincere dialogue of Patriarch Cyrill and of Pope Francis.”
On ZENIT’s Web page:
More Information on Joint Declaration: https://zenit.org/articles/quick-summary-of-common-declaration-signed-by-pope-and-patriarch/