On February 12, Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, the leaders of two Churches, met at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana. The meeting took place in a closed setting. It lasted more than two hours.The meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill concluded with the signing of a Joint Declaration, which elicited mixed reactions on the part of the citizenry and Church representatives of Ukraine.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Head of the UGCC, shared with us his impressions of the meeting in general and of the document in particular.
Your Beatitude, kindly share with us your impressions of the meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill. What can you say about the Joint Declaration that they signed?
From our experience, gained over many years, we can say that when the Vatican and Moscow organize meetings or sign joint texts, it is difficult to expect something good. Firstly, I would like to say something about the meeting of the Holy Father with Patriarch Kirill, and then I will comment on the text of the declaration.
One notices immediately, especially from their comments after the meeting, that the two sides existed on two completely different planes and were pursuing different goals. His Holiness Pope Francis experienced this encounter primarily as a spiritual event. He opened his remarks by noting that we, Catholics and Orthodox, share one and the same Baptism. In the meeting, he sought out the presence of the Holy Spirit and received His support. He emphasized that the unity of the Churches can be achieved when we travel together on the same path. From the Moscow Patriarch one immediately sensed that this wasn’t about any Spirit, or theology, or actual religious matters. No common prayer, an emphasis on official phrases about “the fate of the world,” and the airport as a neutral, that is, non-ecclesial environment. The impression was that they existed in two parallel worlds. Did these two parallel realities intersect during this meeting? I don’t know, but according to the rules of mathematics, two parallel lines do not intersect. Weiter auf news.ugcc.ua