Havana (Agenzia Fides) - "We remember the fifth anniversary of the historic meeting in Havana between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Cuba is pleased to have hosted this epochal meeting", said Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez on Twitter on the occasion of the fifth anniversary, emphasizing the importance of the meeting between the Bishop of Rome and the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Patriarch Cyril and Pope Francis met on February 12, 2016 on the island. It was the first meeting between a bishop of Rome and a patriarch of Moscow (see Fides, 12/2/2016).
On this occasion, the Pope and the Patriarch signed a joint declaration, in which they expressed their willingness to work together and do whatever is necessary to overcome the historical divisions.
"The Christians here" then reported to Agenzia Fides by Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM, Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo for Catholics of the Latin rite, commenting on the meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch "recognized that their suffering is not in vain: the meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill is perceived by them as the fruit of the cross they bear. The suffering of all Christians in the Middle East bears the fruit of unity, and may also bring others. This is a great consolation for us and helps us to move forward, even if we still have to suffer". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 13/2/2021)