HAVANA — “Finally,” the pontiff told Patriarch Kirill as they met, the first encounter in history between a Roman Catholic pope and a Russian Orthodox patriarch. “We are brothers.”
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Donald Trump already ripped Francis as a “very political person” for visiting the border area during the week-long trip that starts Friday.
VATICAN CITY/MOSCOW (Reuters) Diplomats and analysts say Friday’s summit in Havana could not happen without a green light from the Russian president.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The chief impetus for the Feb. 12 meeting is the need for a joint response to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. The Russian leader, Patriarch Kirill, needs to reassure his own flock that he won’t be focused on reuniting with Catholicism after a 1,000-year schism.
(RNS) “There was just time for a last minute prayer before the machinery tore in,” a British charity reported. “The pastor stood by in dignified silence, clutching the remaining cross from the Church roof.”
PARIS (RNS) Russian leaders pressured the church to change the venue after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet that strayed into its airspace.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) The attack on a Christian holy site, possibly by Jewish ultra-nationalists, seems to up the ante from previous incidents. “This time it amounts to a real call to murder Christians,” said a church spokesman.
(RNS) The Orthodox churches were supposed to be only months away from their first major council since the year 787.