It has been just announced that the Pope will meet the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill in Cuba on February 12. A historic encounter between the Bishop of Rome and a Bishop of what is called the “Third Rome”, the first time after the see of the Successor of Peter and the see of the Successor of the Apostol Andrew in Constantinople, refers the director of the Holy See Press Office Fr. Federico Lombardi.
“The Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow are pleased to announce that, by the grace of God, His Holiness Pope Francis and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet on February 12 next. Their meeting will take place in Cuba, where the Pope will make a stop on his way to Mexico, and where the Patriarch will be on an official visit. It will include a personal conversation at Havana’s José Martí International Airport, and will conclude with the signing of a joint declaration. This meeting of the Primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, after a long preparation, will be the first in history and will mark an important stage in relations between the two Churches. The Holy See and the Moscow Patriarchate hope that it will also be a sign of hope for all people of good will. They invite all Christians to pray fervently for God to bless this meeting, that it may bear good fruits,” – read press release.
According to Fr. Lombardi, meeting will last two hours. The two will be also joined by Cuba’s President Raul Castro. In the first meeting between a Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill and Francis will sign a joint declaration and address speeches to one another.
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