HAVANA (AP) — The heads of the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches will hold a historic meeting Friday in Cuba.
The meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill at Havana’s airport is expected to focus almost entirely on religious reconciliation. The Catholic and Orthodox churches split during the Great Schism of 1054 and have remained estranged over a host of issues, including the primacy of the pope and Russian Orthodox accusations that the Catholic Church is poaching converts in former Soviet lands.
Friday’s meeting will be the first-ever meeting between the leaders of the two churches.
Kirill is traveling through Latin America, visiting national leaders and the region’s small Russian Orthodox communities. Francis is stopping briefly in Cuba for the second time in less than a year on his way to a tour of Mexico.
wbt.com, February 11, 2016