After meeting for about two and a half hours this afternoon in Havana, Cuba, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church and Pope Francis signed a common declaration.
Once both had signed the documents in Russian and Italian, the Pope and Patriarch again exchanged a kiss of peace.
The two then briefly addressed members of their delegations and members of the press.
Here is a ZENIT transcription and translation of the Pope’s words, which were given in Spanish:
Your Holiness, Eminences,
We have spoken as brothers. We have the same baptism. We are bishops. We have spoken of our Churches. We agree that unity is made in the process of walking forward. We have spoken clearly, without mincing words. I confess to you that I have felt the consolation of the Spirit in this dialogue.
I am grateful for the humility of Your Holiness, fraternal humility, and your good desires for unity.
We have come up with a series of initiatives which I believe are viable and that can be carried out. Because of this, I want to thank Your Holiness again, for your benevolent welcome, as well as the collaborators [<indiscernible words>], His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion and His Eminence Cardinal Koch with all of the members of their teams that have worked for this.
I don’t want to go without giving a heartfelt thank you to Cuba, to the great Cuban people, and to their president here present, Raul Castro. I thank you for your active availability. If it continues like this, Cuba will be the capital of unity.
And may all of this be for the glory of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and for the good of the holy People faithful to God under the mantle of the holy Mother of God.[Transcription and translation by ZENIT]