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Russia: Pope and Russian Orthodox Patriarch to meet for the first time in a millennium02:06

Russia: Pope and Russian Orthodox Patriarch to meet for the first time in a millennium

Russian Federation, Moscow
February 5, 2016 at 14:28 GMT +00:00 · Published

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill of Moscow is to meet with Pope Francis, announced the Metropolitan Bishop of Volokolamsk, Hilarion Alfeyev, in Moscow on Friday. The meeting will be the first time since the Great Schism of 1054 that the heads of the two major Christian churches have met.

Metropolitan Hilarion said that the church leaders are to meet in Cuba, in one week's time, where they will sign an accord between their respective branches of Christianity. The Moscow Patriarchate and the Vatican released a joint statement saying that the meeting would "mark an important stage in the relations between the two churches."

A key issue to be addressed during the meeting will be the persecution of Christians around the world. "The situation that is emerging in the Middle East, in North and Central Africa, and in some other regions where extremists are carrying out a true genocide of the Christian population, requires urgent action and a closer cooperation between Christian churches," stated Hilarion, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church's Foreign Relations Department.

The Great Schism formalised the breaking of the communion between the Latin and Greek parts of Christianity, the break came after years of amassing theological differences.

Russia: Pope and Russian Orthodox Patriarch to meet for the first time in a millennium02:06
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The head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill of Moscow is to meet with Pope Francis, announced the Metropolitan Bishop of Volokolamsk, Hilarion Alfeyev, in Moscow on Friday. The meeting will be the first time since the Great Schism of 1054 that the heads of the two major Christian churches have met.

Metropolitan Hilarion said that the church leaders are to meet in Cuba, in one week's time, where they will sign an accord between their respective branches of Christianity. The Moscow Patriarchate and the Vatican released a joint statement saying that the meeting would "mark an important stage in the relations between the two churches."

A key issue to be addressed during the meeting will be the persecution of Christians around the world. "The situation that is emerging in the Middle East, in North and Central Africa, and in some other regions where extremists are carrying out a true genocide of the Christian population, requires urgent action and a closer cooperation between Christian churches," stated Hilarion, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church's Foreign Relations Department.

The Great Schism formalised the breaking of the communion between the Latin and Greek parts of Christianity, the break came after years of amassing theological differences.

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