More from Aleteia

Not Prepared to Donate?

Here are 5 ways you can still help Aleteia:

  1. Pray for our team and the success of our mission
  2. Talk about Aleteia in your parish
  3. Share Aleteia content with friends and family
  4. Turn off your ad blockers when you visit
  5. Subscribe to our free newsletter and read us daily
Thank you!
Team Aleteia

Subscribe

Aleteia

Francis and Kirill Meet: Here’s the Moment the World Has Been Waiting For

CTV
Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis meet for the first time, accompanied by interpreters
Share

WATCH: The HUG heard 'round the world!

Pope Francis landed at Havana’s Jose Marti Airport this afternoon and was greeted by Cuban president Raul Castro before being escorted into the airport building for the long-anticipated encounter with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill I. Here is a Vatican video of the initial greeting.

The private encounter is expected to last about two hours, after which the two Church leaders will sign a joint declaration.

Almost 60 years after a major, new ecumenical push under Pope John XXIII, highlighted by meetings between the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople and almost every bishop of Rome since Paul VI, the leader of what is often referred to as the “Third Rome,” Moscow, met the leader of the First Rome in the most unexpected of places.

But Francis made it clear last year that he would go anywhere to meet with the patriarch of Moscow when he told a reporter that all Kirill would need to do is call, and he would go.

As it turned out, Kirill was beginning a pastoral visit of Orthodox communities in Cuba and other Latin American countries as Pope Francis was traveling to make his first papal visit to Mexico.

The meeting has given new meaning to words the pope spoke on his first visit to this island nation last year: “Geographically, Cuba is an archipelago, facing all directions, with an extraordinary value as a ‘key’ between north and south, east and west. Its natural vocation is to be a point of encounter for all people to join in friendship.”

Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.
Aleteia offers you this space to comment on articles. This space should always reflect Aleteia values.
[See Comment Policy]
Readers like you contribute to Aleteia's Mission.

Since our inception in 2012, Aleteia’s readership has grown rapidly worldwide. Our team is committed to a mission of providing articles that enrich, inspire and inform a Catholic life. That's why we want our articles to be freely accessible to everyone, but we need your help to do that. Quality journalism has a cost (more than selling ads on Aleteia can cover). That's why readers like you make a major difference by donating as little as $3 a month.