February 12 meeting of Primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church “a first in history”
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will meet Patriarch Kirill of Moscow on February 12 in Cuba, where the two will sign a joint declaration, the Vatican announced today.
According to a joint press release of the Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow, issued at noon on Friday in Rome: “This meeting of the primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church … will be the first in history and will mark an important stage in relations between the two Churches.”
Pope Francis’ stopover in Cuba for the historic meeting comes as he travels to Mexico for a February 12-18 apostolic visit.
Here below we publish the joint press release. Fuller details to follow.
Joint Press Release
of the Holy See and of the Patriarchate of Moscow
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.
Diane Montagnais Rome correspondent for Aleteia’s English edition.