Quick Summary of Common Declaration Signed by Pope and Russian Patriarch

by Steve Ray on February 13, 2016

30 Paragraphs that cover a variety of themes. Written on February 11, 2010 by Kathllen Naab

Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Pope Francis joyously signed a common declaration today in Havana, following a 2.5 hour meeting between the two.

The 30-paragraph statement covers a variety of themes.

  Here is a quick summary:
Paragraphs 1-3: Notes on their meeting, for which they give thanks and point out that meeting in Cuba, in the New World has had special significance

Paragraphs 4-7: A consideration of Orthodox and Catholic history — a millennium united and a millennium in division, a division that is due to “human weakness and of sin” and despite Christ’s prayer “that they may be one.” A pledge to unite efforts to overcome the divergences

Paragraphs 8-12: Reflections on the sufferings being endured by Christians and others in the Middle East and Africa, and affirmation that the martyrs of our day are “a pledge of the unity of Christians”

Paragraphs 13: Affirmation of the importance of interreligious dialogue and declaration that no crime can be committed in God’s name

Paragraphs 14-16: Notes on increasing threats to religious freedom, and a call to Europe to remember its Christian roots

Paragraphs 17-18: A word about those who suffer injustice: the poor, migrants and refugees

Paragraphs 19-21: A defense of family and marriage, and the inalienable right to life

Paragraphs 22-23: An appeal to youth

Paragraphs 24-27: A note on various tensions between Orthodox and Catholics, including the ideas of proselytism and evangelization, and mention of the problem of “uniatism,” and the conflict in Ukraine

Paragraph 28: Acknowledgment that the world needs a united witness: “Much of the future of humanity will depend on our capacity to give shared witness to the Spirit of truth in these difficult times.”

Paragraphs 29-30: Affirmation of hope in Christ and a prayer that Our Lady will “inspire fraternity in all those who venerate her, so that they may be reunited, in God’s own time, in the peace and harmony of the one people of God, for the glory of the Most Holy and indivisible Trinity!”

On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full text: https://zenit.org/articles/joint-declaration-from-pope-francis-and-patriarch-kirill/

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda Murphy February 13, 2016 at 8:44 AM

Thank you for explaining this in a clear understandable way :)

Tom Govern February 14, 2016 at 10:19 PM

So close yet so far away. Mary’s immaculate conception is a major area and obviously Roman leadership. We will see. It would be nice to get together again.

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