21st Century Wire says…
The Pope continues to carry the international mantle into the new year, this time by arranging a historic meeting in Cuba with the Eastern Orthodox religious patriarch.
Historically speaking, this would be the first-ever meeting between these two institutional leaders from the two rival houses of Christendom.
The symbolism of this meeting is significant – coming in front of a geopolitical backdrop where Washington and London continue to ramp-up Cold War rhetoric and posturing with Russia, and European economic sanctions against Russia are becoming increasingly unpopular among European leaders, and seen as ‘unsustainable’ for EU member states. More than any other, this divisive issue threatens to drive a political wedge between Washington from Europe.
Clearly, the Vatican is making a bold move to build a bridge towards the east…
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in what could be a historic step towards healing the 1,000-year-old rift between the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity.
The Vatican and the Moscow Patriarchate announced on Friday that Francis will stop in Cuba on Feb. 12 his way to Mexico to hold talks with Patriarch Kirill [photo above] the first in history between a Roman Catholic pope and a Russian Orthodox patriarch.
Modern popes have met in the past with the Istanbul-based ecumenical patriarchs, the spiritual leaders of Eastern Orthodoxy, which split with Rome in 1054.
Those patriarchs play a largely symbolic role, while the rich Russian church wields real influence because it counts some 165 million of the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christians.
The Vatican said the leaders would hold several hours of private talks at Havana airport, deliver public speeches and sign a joint statement…
READ MORE CUBA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Cuba Files