Four reasons why Pope Francis will meet with Patriarch Kirill


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Four reasons why Pope Francis will meet with Patriarch Kirill**
>> Four reasons why Pope Francis will meet with Patriarch Kirill :: EWTN News

The first, historic meeting between a Pope and a Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church does not come from nowhere. Both the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate and the Holy See have been working on such an event for decades.

In at least three cases under recent Popes, such a meeting seemed about to take place. Once under St. John Paul II and twice under Benedict XVI. But then nothing happened.

Why, then, did the Feb. 11 meeting suddenly become possible? There are at least four different reasons.

The need to counter anti-Christian persecution

Both the Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Church have spoken out clearly to stop the “genocide” of Christians that is taking place parts of the world. It is now time to join their voices.

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Department for External Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, clearly spelled out the situation in a Feb. 5 press conference.

He said that “the situation as it has developed today in the Middle East, in North and Central Africa and in some other regions, in which extremists are perpetrating a real genocide of the Christian population, has required urgent measures and closer cooperation between Christian Churches.”

Metropolitan Hilarion added that “in the present tragic situation, it is necessary to put aside internal disagreements and unite efforts to save Christianity in the regions where it is subjected to the most severe persecution.”…(SNIP)


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New story:**
‘We are brothers’

Havana, Cuba, Feb 12, 2016 / 04:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Christian brotherhood and unity were the focus of Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill when they met on Friday afternoon in Havana.

“We spoke as brothers,” Pope Francis said. “We have the same baptism. We are bishops. We spoke of our Churches.”

“We agreed that unity is created by journeying together,” he told a gathering of Catholic and Orthodox clergy and reporters after his meeting with the patriarch.

He characterized the Feb. 12 conversation as open and authentic. It focused on “a series of initiatives that I believe are viable and can be realized.”