Pope Francis thanked Cuba for hosting his meeting with Patriarch Kirill, and considered that the Island may become the capital of unity. After signing a joint statement in Havana with the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, the Pope praised the Cuban people, specially President Raul Castro, who was present in the historic event.
“I appreciate its active readiness; if it continues this way, Cuba will be the capital of unity,” said Pope Francis, who on his way to Mexico made a stop in the Jose Marti International Airport of Havana, the venue for the meeting between the two religious leaders.
According to the Pope, during the two-hour meeting, they talked about their respective churches and agreed that unity is achieved through action.
“We talked clearly, I confess that I felt consolation of spirit in this dialog,” he said.
Pope Francis added that they left the meeting with a series of viable initiatives, and thanked Kirill for his fraternal modesty, his kind welcome and his good wishes of unity.
He highlighted the work of the teams collaborated in preparing the meeting, the first ever held between the leaders of the Catholic and the Russian Orthodox Churches.
After this meeting, Pope Francis will continue his trip to Mexico, on a pastoral visit through Feb.17. Patriarch Kirill will stay in Cuba until February 14. He will offer divine liturgy at Our Lady of Kazan Orthodox Cathedral and lay a wreath at the Memorial to the Soviet Internationalist Soldier, among other activities.