An Historic Meeting


Oh, to be a fly on the wall.

Today, for the first time in history, the Roman Pontiff and the Patriarch of All Russia meet in Havana. The site for the meeting is the Jose Marti International Airport, most probably because both men are in transit to other points to and fro their respective Sees.

There are many things at stake. The concern for the plight of the indigenous Christian populations of the Middle East are first and (rightly) foremost. That Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill are willing to set aside their differences concerning the Unia in the Ukraine (where there is more than enough blame to go around) in favor of drawing the world’s attention to the victims of Islamic terrorism speaks well of both men.

Anything they can do to help stop the slaughter will cover both men in glory. And it should.

That being said, there is no doubt that other things will be talked about sotto voce. While the western press, particularly the Associated Press, has breathlessly viewed this as a reconciliation of sorts, a healing of the Great Schism of 1054 if you will, others have a more sober understanding know why this is not in the cards. Terry Mattingly of Get Religion for example, has pretty much hit the nail on the head.

So what will be discussed in private? Most probably Kirill will inform the Pope that he should dampen his enthusiasm regarding the upcoming Great and Holy Council, which is to be held in Crete in June of this year. Any thoughts Francis may have had regarding the elevation of Patriarch Bartholomew to a super-primatial status will no doubt be quashed. In addition, the very fact that this meeting won’t be held in Istanbul puts to rest the Phanar’s Vaticanist delusions of grandeur. Perhaps it was God’s will that military tensions between Turkey and Russia have made this impossible.

In addition, any ideas that he may have entertained that this council will acquiesce to the present Zeitgeist regarding “tolerance” and “inclusion” will also be put to rest.

At the end of the day, the Pope will have to choose what he wants to accomplish: save the Christians of the Middle East or carry water for Joe Biden. He can’t have both.


  1. For those interested in the key GetReligion post, and some stunning music by Metropolitan HILARION, here is the link to our early coverage:

  2. Sorry. Let me see if I can turn that into a working link.

  3. Michael Warren says

    The pope cuts a check for a photo op, endorses Putin in the war of civilizations, gives a nod whispering, “give me time and I will back RUSSKY MIR.” Because the papacy is terminal and desperate and Russia is emerging as the defender of traditional civilization and Christendom.

    • Johann Sebastian says

      I don’t see a problem with that. It would be wonderful for the Pope to become Orthodox.

    • MW:

      The pope cuts a check for a photo op, endorses Putin in the war of civilizations, gives a nod whispering, “give me time and I will back RUSSKY MIR.” Because the papacy is terminal and desperate and Russia is emerging as the defender of traditional civilization and Christendom.

      Oh, the power of delusional thinking. Russia is emerging as the defender of satanic hatred, murder, torture, and destruction. Witness the Caucusus, Ukraine and Syria. Pope Francis is the rockstar; +Kirill the suppliant. This meeting lends cred to Lidia Leonova’s “very good friend,” not the other way around.

      • Michael Warren says

        That’s just an alternate universe which hasn’t caught up with reality. The papacy is on the road to Anglican obsolescence. In 25 years, papism won’t matter. In 25 years Russian Orthodoxy will be fully recovered from theomachist persecution and be the major Faith of 1/4 of the earth’s surface. That’s reality. Russia is at the forefront of the war of civilizations, defending Christianity and spreading Orthodoxy.

        Unia is done. Papism is on the ropes trying to spin an ecumenical angle for its survival. Our answer to them is systematic repentance and return to Orthodoxy. That’s it.

        The papacy paid for the photo op and blessed essentially Putin as “defender of the Faith” and silently began approving RUSSKY MIR. Russia didn’t want it, didn’t need it, and that is why Rome is writing the checks. Guess the Vatican is very desparate indeed. There isn’t anything a heretical papacy can offer Russia other than its pleas to be able to hold on to Russia’s coat tails. Here we are. And we will nudge them back into Orthodoxy while cashing their checks.

        You live in a world where you believe your own hate. The West is post Christian, secularist, neo pagan, gay crusading, at war with Christianity.

  4. Gregory Manning says

    I can’t help but think +Kirill’s entry onto the stage of important international affairs may very well end up usurping +Bart, accustomed as he has become to being the go-to guy when the world wants to know about world Orthodoxy. I’m sure this never entered Moscow’s mind though. One of the most dangerous persecutions of Christians around the world in who knows how long, plus the crisis in Ukraine, plus the war in Syria (where Russia and the ROC are considered to be the saviors of Christians in the Middle East) and nobody thought to call +Bart? And he and Francis were such good buds. Gosh. You don’t suppose Francis is gonna think that dealing with Moscow is now seriously going to have to be factored in when striving for union with the East do ya? Poor +Bart. He thought he had this all in hand and along comes +Kirill and upstages him. Life’s so unfair. But again, I’m sure this wasn’t Moscow’s intent.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      RE: ” . . . +Krill’s entry onto the stage of important international affairs may very end up usurping +Bart . . .”

      Bingo! The others will not go quietly into the night. It will be a proverbial blood bath.

      • Michael Warren says

        When they have Orthodox superpowers backing them in symphonia, they might matter… The Third Rome represents the future of world Orthodoxy.

  5. Gregory Manning says

    Yep. Sure enough. ABC, FOX, and PBS are all talking about how this is the first meeting ever, since the schism, that Rome and the Church of the East have spoken to each other. Have they already forgotten about all of +Bart’s meetings with Francis? BTW, Metropolitan Tikhon (OCA) was being interviewed along with Cardinal somebody-or-other on the PBS News Hour. You watch–+Kirill and the ROC are on the ascendancy. We live in very interesting times.

    • Johann Sebastian says

      Is +Bartholomew even Orthodox?

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      The one I saw was FOX, where Adam Housely repeatedly informed the world that the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow excommunicated one another in 1054.

      FOX is so hopeless.

  6. This is a massive, yet unsung, piece in the puzzle of Catholic-Orthodox unity.

  7. God gets the glory for anything we do.

  8. George,

    I translated the first 11 articles of the Joint Declaration directly from the Russian version into English. I understand the distrust of the Catholic English translation and thought it might come in handy. I will translate the rest tomorrow but I believe that this is how Patriarch Kirill would have understood what he signed. This is not a “dynamic” translation but as close to word for word as possible:

    Совместное заявление Папы Римского Франциска и Святейшего Патриарха Кирилла (полный текст)
    Новостная служба | 13 февраля 2016 г.
    Документ принят по итогам встречи Святейшего Папы Римского Франциска и Святейшего Патриарха Московского и всея Руси Кирилла, которая прошла 12 февраля 2016 года в Гаване (Куба).

    Joint declaration of the Pope of Rome, Francis and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill (full text)
    News service/ February 13, 2016
    The document was adopted after the meeting of His Holiness Pope Francis and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, held February 12, 2016 in Havana (Cuba).

    «Благодать Господа нашего Иисуса Христа, и любовь Бога Отца, и общение Святаго Духа со всеми вами» (2 Кор. 13:13).

    “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:13).

    По воле Бога и Отца, от Которого исходит всякий дар, во имя Господа нашего Иисуса Христа, содействием Святого Духа Утешителя, мы, Франциск, Папа Римский, и Кирилл, Патриарх Московский и всея Руси, встретились ныне в Гаване. Мы воздаем благодарность в Троице славимому Богу за эту встречу, первую в истории.

    By the will of God the Father, from whom every gift comes in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, through the assistance of the Holy Spirit the Comforter, we, Francis Pope of Rome and Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus, met today in Havana. We give thanks in the Holy Trinity to the glorified God for this meeting, the first in history.

    С радостью мы встретились как братья по христианской вере, увидевшиеся, чтобы «говорить устами к устам» (2 Ин. 12), от сердца к сердцу, и обсудить взаимоотношения между Церквами, насущные проблемы нашей паствы и перспективы развития человеческой цивилизации.

    With joy, we met as brothers according to the Christian faith, who sought to “speak face to face” (2 Jn. 12), heart to heart, and to discuss the mutual relations between the Churches [sic], the pressing problems of our flock and prospects of development of human civilization.

    2. Наша братская встреча произошла на Кубе, на перекрестке путей между Севером и Югом, Западом и Востоком. С этого острова — символа надежд «Нового света» и драматических событий истории ХХ века — мы обращаем наше слово ко всем народам Латинской Америки и других континентов.

    Our fraternal meeting took place in Cuba, at the crossroads between North and South, East and West. From this island – the symbol of hope, of “the New World” and of the dramatic events of twentieth century history – we address our words to all the peoples of Latin America and other continents.

    Мы радуемся тому, что сегодня здесь динамично развивается христианская вера. Мощный религиозный потенциал Латинской Америки, ее многовековые христианские традиции, реализуемые в жизненном опыте миллионов людей, являются залогом великого будущего этого региона.

    We rejoice in the fact that today the Christian faith is developing dynamically here. The powerful religious potential of Latin America, its centuries old Christian traditions realized in the life experience of millions of people, portend a great future in this region.

    3. Встретившись вдали от старых споров «Старого света», мы с особенной силой ощущаем необходимость совместных трудов католиков и православных, призванных с кротостью и благоговением дать миру отчет в нашем уповании (1 Пет. 3:15).

    After meeting far from the old disputes of the “Old World”, we experience with a particular sense of urgency the need for the joint labor of Catholics and Orthodox, who are called forth, with meekness and awe, to give an account to the world of the object of our hope (cf. 1 Peter 3:15).

    4. Благодарим Бога за те дары, которые мы получили через явление в мир Его Единородного Сына. Мы разделяем общее духовное Предание первого тысячелетия христианства. Свидетелями этого Предания являются Пресвятая Матерь Божия, Дева Мария, и святые, которых мы почитаем. Среди них — бесчисленные мученики, явившие верность Христу и ставшие «семенем христианства».

    We thank God for the gifts we have received through the appearance in the world of His only begotten Son. We share a common spiritual tradition of the first millennium of Christianity. Witnesses of this tradition are the Most Holy Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, and the saints, whom we venerate. Among them are the countless martyrs who demonstrated fidelity to Christ and became “the seed of Christianity.”

    5. Несмотря на общее Предание первых десяти веков, католики и православные на протяжении почти тысячи лет лишены общения в Евхаристии. Мы разделены ранами, нанесенными в конфликтах далекого и недавнего прошлого, разделены и унаследованными от наших предшественников различиями в понимании и изъяснении нашей веры в Бога, единого в Трех Лицах — Отца, Сына и Духа Святого. Мы скорбим об утрате единства, ставшей следствием человеческой слабости и греховности, произошедшей вопреки Первосвященнической молитве Христа Спасителя: «Да будут все едино, как Ты, Отче, во Мне, и Я в Тебе, так и они да будут в Нас едино» (Ин. 17:21).

    Despite the common Tradition of the first ten centuries, Catholics and Orthodox for nearly a thousand years have lacked Eucharistic intercommunion. We are divided by the wounds caused by conflicts in the distant and recent past, are divided by inheritance from our predecessors of differences in understanding and explanations of our faith in God, one in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We mourn the loss of unity, which began as a consequence of human weakness and sinfulness, which occurred despite the high priestly prayer of Christ the Savior: “That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us” (John 17:21).

    6. Осознавая многочисленные препятствия, которые предстоит преодолеть, мы надеемся, что наша встреча внесет вклад в дело достижения того богозаповеданного единства, о котором молился Христос. Пусть наша встреча вдохновит христиан всего мира с новой ревностью призывать Господа, молясь о полном единстве всех Его учеников. Пусть она — в мире, который ожидает от нас не только слов, но и деяний — станет знамением упования для всех людей доброй воли.

    Aware of the numerous obstacles to be overcome, we hope that our meeting will contribute to the attainment of God-commanded unity for which Christ prayed. Let our meeting inspire Christians around the world with a new zeal to call upon the Lord, praying for the full unity of all his disciples. Let it – in a world that expects from us not only words but also deeds – become a sign of hope for all people of goodwill.

    7. В решимости прилагать все необходимое для того, чтобы преодолевать исторически унаследованные нами разногласия, мы хотим объединять наши усилия для свидетельства о Евангелии Христовом и общем наследии Церкви первого тысячелетия, совместно отвечая на вызовы современного мира. Православные и католики должны научиться нести согласное свидетельство истины в тех областях, в которых это возможно и необходимо. Человеческая цивилизация вступила в период эпохальных перемен. Христианская совесть и пастырская ответственность не позволяют нам оставаться безучастными к вызовам, требующим совместного ответа.

    With the determination to do all that is necessary in order to overcome the historical differences we have inherited, we want to combine our efforts for the testimony of the gospel of Christ and the common heritage of the Church of the first millennium, jointly responding to the challenges of the modern world. Orthodox and Catholics must learn to carry an agreed witness of truth in those areas where it is possible and necessary. Human civilization has entered a period of epochal change. Christian conscience and pastoral responsibility does not allow us to remain indifferent to the challenges requiring a joint response.

    8. Наш взор устремлен, прежде всего, к тем регионам мира, где христиане подвергаются гонениям. Во многих странах Ближнего Востока и Северной Африки наши братья и сестры во Христе истребляются целыми семьями, деревнями и городами. Их храмы подвергаются варварскому разрушению и разграблению, святыни — осквернению, памятники — уничтожению. В Сирии, Ираке и других странах Ближнего Востока мы с болью наблюдаем массовый исход христиан из той земли, где началось распространение нашей веры и где они жили с апостольских времен вместе с другими религиозными общинами.

    Our gaze is directed primarily to those regions of the world where Christians are persecuted. In many Middle Eastern and North African countries, our brothers and sisters in Christ are being exterminated – whole families, villages and towns. Their temples are subjected to barbaric destruction and looting, their shrines to desecration, their monuments to destruction. In Syria, Iraq and other Middle East countries, we are witnessing the painful mass exodus of Christians from the land, where our faith began to spread and where they have lived since Apostolic times together with other religious communities.

    9. Мы призываем международное сообщество к незамедлительным действиям для предотвращения дальнейшего вытеснения христиан с Ближнего Востока. Возвышая свой голос в защиту преследуемых христиан, мы сопереживаем и страданиям приверженцев иных религиозных традиций, становящихся жертвами гражданской войны, хаоса и террористического насилия.

    We urge the international community to take immediate action to prevent further displacement of Christians from the Middle East. Raising up our voice in defense of persecuted Christians, we also empathize with the suffering of the adherents of other religious traditions who fall victim to civil war, chaos and terrorist violence.

    10. В Сирии и в Ираке это насилие унесло тысячи жизней, оставив без крова и средств к существованию миллионы людей. Призываем мировое сообщество сплотиться, чтобы покончить с насилием и с терроризмом, и одновременно через диалог содействовать скорейшему достижению гражданского мира. Необходима широкомасштабная гуманитарная помощь страдающему народу и многочисленным беженцам в соседних странах.

    In Syria and Iraq, this violence claimed thousands of lives, having left millions of people homeless and without a livelihood. We call on the international community to unite to put an end to violence and terrorism and at the same time through a dialogue to facilitate the speedy attainment of civil peace. We need large-scale humanitarian assistance to suffering people and to the many refugees in neighboring countries.

    Просим всех, кто может повлиять на судьбу всех похищенных, в том числе митрополитов Алеппских Павла и Иоанна Ибрагима, захваченных в апреле 2013 года, сделать все необходимое для их скорейшего освобождения.

    We call on all those who can influence the fate of all abductees, including the Metropolitans of Aleppo, Paul and John Ibrahim who were captured in April of 2013, to do everything necessary for their speedy release.

    11. Воссылаем молитвы ко Христу, Спасителю мира, об установлении на земле Ближнего Востока мира, который есть «дело правды» (Ис. 32:17), об укреплении братского сосуществования между находящимися на ней различными народами, Церквами и религиями, о возвращении беженцев в свои дома, об исцелении раненых и упокоении душ безвинно погибших.

    Мы обращаемся ко всем сторонам, которые могут оказаться вовлеченными в конфликты, с горячим призывом проявить добрую волю и сесть за стол переговоров. В то же время необходимо, чтобы международное сообщество употребило все возможные усилия, дабы покончить с терроризмом при помощи общих, совместных, скоординированных действий. Призываем все страны, вовлеченные в борьбу с терроризмом, к ответственным, взвешенным действиям. Призываем всех христиан и всех верующих в Бога к сугубой молитве Творцу и Промыслителю мира, дабы Он сохранил Свое творение от разрушения и не допустил новой мировой войны. Для того, чтобы мир был прочным и надежным, необходимы особые усилия, направленные на возвращение к общим, объединяющим нас ценностям, основанным на Евангелии Господа нашего Иисуса Христа.

    We send up prayer to Christ, the Savior of the world, for the establishment of peace in the land of the Middle East, which is “the cause of truth” (Isaiah 32:17), for the strengthening of the fraternal coexistence between the various peoples inhabiting it, the churches and religions, for the return of refugees to their homes, for the healing of the wounded and the repose of the souls of innocent victims.

    We appeal to all parties who may be involved in conflict – an ardent appeal to show good faith and come to the negotiating table. At the same time, it is necessary for the international community to exert all possible efforts in order to put an end to terrorism by means of common, joint, coordinated action. We call all countries involved in the fight against terrorism to responsible, prudent action. We call on all Christians and all believers in God to utter a prayer to the Creator and Provider of the world, that He would keep His creation from destruction and prevent another world war. For peace to be durable and reliable, special efforts are required to return to common values unifying us based on the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    • In Section 11, земле Ближнего Востока = NEAR EAST, not ‘Middle East’ as ‘Misha’ renders it.

      It seems to me that sometimes we translators jot down what we expect to find rather than what’s really there. We need to pay closer attention to our work.

      CAREFUL! CAREFUL! Little slips like this can distort meaning significantly and invalidate an entire translation.

      Still, I’m grateful to ‘Misha’ for providing the russian text here, and for his efforts to bring it into English.

      • Monk James,

        Think of Russia’s geographical location:

        Definitions of Near East
        a term originally applied to the Balkan states of southeastern Europe, but now generally applied to the countries of southwestern Asia between the Mediterranean Sea and India (including the Middle East), especially in historical contexts.

        You were probably thinking of the “near abroad” which could include Ukraine, etc.

        • I wasn’t thinking about geography at all, but about language, and ‘near’ is ‘near’, not ‘middle,’ which is why I wrote: ‘In Section 11, земле Ближнего Востока = NEAR EAST, not ‘Middle East’ as ‘Misha’ renders it.

          Let’s consider ‘The West’ as a political/cultural influence. West of where? As the crow flies, Russia is closer to the USA when traveling eastward. Latin American countries are influenced from the north, etc., etc.

          Still, we must accurately translate the words we find, and perhaps footnote such contradictions of geographic reality; misrendering the words themselves is an exercise in editorialism, not translation.

    • Articles 12-20:

      12. Мы преклоняемся перед мужеством тех, кто ценой собственной жизни свидетельствуют об истине Евангелия, предпочитая смерть отречению от Христа. Верим, что мученики нашего времени, происходящие из различных Церквей, но объединенные общим страданием, являются залогом единства христиан. К вам, страждущим за Христа, обращает свое слово Его апостол:«Возлюбленные! …как вы участвуете в Христовых страданиях, радуйтесь, да и в явление славы Его возрадуетесь и восторжествуете» (1 Пет. 4:12-13).

      We salute the courage of those who at the cost of their life testify to the truth of the Gospel, preferring death to renounce Christ. We believe that the martyrs of our times, originating from different Churches [sic], but united by a common suffering, are the key to Christian unity. To you, to those who suffer for Christ, His Apostle addresses his word: “Beloved, … as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice; and at the revelation of his glory rejoice with exceeding joy “(1 Peter 4: 12-13.).

      13. В эту тревожную эпоху необходим межрелигиозный диалог. Различия в понимании религиозных истин не должны препятствовать людям разных вер жить в мире и согласии. В нынешних условиях религиозные лидеры несут особую ответственность за воспитание своей паствы в духе уважения к убеждениям тех, кто принадлежит к иным религиозным традициям. Абсолютно неприемлемы попытки оправдания преступных деяний религиозными лозунгами. Никакое преступление не может быть совершено во имя Бога, «потому что Бог не есть Бог неустройства, но мира» (1 Кор. 14:33).

      In this troubled era, we need inter-religious dialogue. The differences in the understanding of religious truths should not hinder people of different faiths from living in peace and accord. In the present circumstances, religious leaders have a special responsibility for the upbringing of their flock in the spirit of respect for the beliefs of those who belong to other religious traditions. Absolutely unacceptable are attempts to justify the criminal acts through religious slogans. No crime can be committed in the name of God, “because God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” (1 Cor. 14:33).

      14. Свидетельствуя о высокой ценности религиозной свободы, мы воздаем благодарение Богу за беспрецедентное возрождение христианской веры, которое происходит ныне в России и во многих странах Восточной Европы, где десятилетиями господствовали атеистические режимы. Сегодня оковы воинствующего безбожия сброшены, и во многих местах христиане могут свободно исповедовать свою веру. За четверть века здесь воздвигнуты десятки тысяч новых храмов, открыты сотни монастырей и богословских учебных заведений. Христианские общины ведут широкую благотворительную и социальную деятельность, оказывая многообразную помощь нуждающимся. Православные и католики нередко трудятся бок о бок. Они отстаивают общие духовные основы человеческого общежития, свидетельствуя о евангельских ценностях.

      Testifying to the high value of religious freedom, we give thanks to God for an unprecedented revival of the Christian faith which is now going on in Russia and in many countries of Eastern Europe which where for decades dominated by atheistic regimes. Today, the chains of militant atheism have been loosed and in many places Christians are free to practice their faith. For a quarter century, tens of thousands of new churches have been erected and hundreds of monasteries and theological schools have been opened. Christian communities conduct extensive charitable and social activities, providing diverse assistance to the needy. Orthodox and Catholics often work side by side. They defend the common spiritual foundation of human society, witnessing to the values of the Gospel.

      15. В то же время, нашу озабоченность вызывает ситуация, складывающаяся в столь многих странах, где христиане все чаще сталкиваются с ограничением религиозной свободы и права свидетельствовать о своих убеждениях, жить в соответствии с ними. В частности, мы видим, что превращение некоторых стран в секуляризованные общества, чуждые всякой памяти о Боге и Его правде, влечет за собой серьезную опасность для религиозной свободы. Мы обеспокоены нынешним ограничением прав христиан, не говоря уже об их дискриминации, когда некоторые политические силы, руководствуясь идеологией секуляризма, столь часто становящегося агрессивным, стремятся вытеснить их на обочину общественной жизни.

      At the same time, the situation evolving in so many countries concerns us where Christians are increasingly faced with the restriction of religious freedom and the right to testify about their beliefs and to live in accordance with them. In particular, we see that the transformation of some of the countries in the secularized society, alien to any memory of God and His righteousness, entails a serious threat to religious freedom. We are concerned about the current limitation of the rights of Christians, not to mention the discrimination against them, when some political forces, guided by the ideology of secularism, so often becoming aggressive, seeking to force them to the margins of public life.

      16. Процесс европейской интеграции, начавшийся после столетий кровавых конфликтов, был воспринят многими с надеждой, как залог мира и безопасности. В то же время мы предостерегаем против такой интеграции, которая не уважает религиозную идентичность. Будучи открыты к вкладу иных религий в нашу цивилизацию, мы убеждены, что Европа нуждается в верности своим христианским корням. Призываем христиан Западной и Восточной Европы объединиться для совместного свидетельства о Христе и Евангелии, дабы Европа сохранила свою душу, сформированную двухтысячелетней христианской традицией.

      The process of European integration that began after centuries of bloody conflicts was perceived as hopeful by many as a sign of peace and security. At the same time, we caution against any such integration which does not respect religious identity. Being open to the contribution of other religions in our civilization, we are convinced that Europe needs a loyalty to its Christian roots. We call on the Christians of Western and Eastern Europe to unite in a joint witness to Christ and the Gospel so that Europe night retain its soul, formed by two thousand years of Christian tradition.

      17. Наш взгляд обращен к людям, находящимся в тяжелом положении, живущим в условиях крайней нужды и бедности в то время, когда материальные богатства человечества растут. Мы не можем оставаться безразличными к судьбе миллионов мигрантов и беженцев, стучащихся в двери богатых стран. Безудержное потребление, характерное для некоторых наиболее развитых государств, стремительно истощает ресурсы нашей планеты. Растущее неравенство в распределении земных благ увеличивает чувство несправедливости насаждаемой системы международных отношений.

      Our gaze is turned to people who are in a difficult situation, living in extreme poverty and poverty in a time when the material wealth of humanity is growing. We can not remain indifferent to the fate of millions of migrants and refugees, who are knocking on the doors of the rich countries. Uncontrolled consumption, typical of some of the most developed countries, rapidly depletes the resources of our planet. Growing inequality in the distribution of earthly goods increases the sense of injustice regarding the system of international relations as it is currently implemented.

      18. Христианские Церкви призваны отстаивать требования справедливости, уважения к традициям народов и действенной солидарности со всеми страждущими. Мы, христиане, не должны забывать о том, что Бог «избрал немудрое мира, чтобы посрамить мудрых, и немощное мира избрал Бог, чтобы посрамить сильное; и незнатное мира и уничиженное и ничего не значащее избрал Бог, чтобы упразднить значащее, для того, чтобы никакая плоть не хвалилась пред Богом» (1 Кор. 1:27-29).

      Christian Churches are called to uphold the demands of justice, respect for the traditions of peoples and to active solidarity with all those who suffer. We Christians should not forget that God “chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to shame the strong; and the base things of the world and the despised and insignificant hath God chosen, yea, in order that no flesh should glory in His presence “(1 Cor 1:. 27-29).

      19. Семья — естественное средоточие жизни человека и общества. Мы обеспокоены кризисом семьи во многих странах. Православные и католики, разделяя одно и то же представление о семье, призваны свидетельствовать о семье как пути к святости, являющем верность супругов по отношению друг к другу, их готовность к рождению и воспитанию детей, солидарность между поколениями и уважение к немощным.

      The family is the natural focal point of the life of man and society. We are concerned about a crisis of the family in many countries. Orthodox and Catholics, sharing the same vision of the family, are called to witness to the family as a path to holiness exhibited in the faithfulness of the spouses in relation to each other, in their readiness for the begetting and upbringing of children and in the solidarity between generations and respect for the infirm.

      20. Семья основана на браке как акте свободной и верной любви между мужчиной и женщиной. Любовь скрепляет их союз, учит их принимать друг друга как дар. Брак — это школа любви и верности. Мы сожалеем, что иные формы сожительства ныне уравниваются с этим союзом, а освященные библейской традицией представления об отцовстве и материнстве как особом призвании мужчины и женщины в браке вытесняются из общественного сознания.

      The family is founded on marriage as an act of free and faithful love between a man and a woman. Love strengthens their union to teach them to accept each other as a gift. Marriage is the school of love and fidelity. We regret that other forms of cohabitation are now equated with this union and that the hallowed concepts of biblical tradition regarding fatherhood and motherhood as a special vocation of man and woman in marriage are forced out of the public consciousness.

      • 21 – end:

        21. Призываем каждого к уважению неотъемлемого права на жизнь. Миллионы младенцев лишаются самой возможности появления на свет. Голос крови не родившихся детей вопиет к Богу (Быт. 4:10).

        Распространение так называемой эвтаназии приводит к тому, что престарелые и больные начинают ощущать себя чрезмерным бременем для своих близких и для общества в целом.

        Выражаем озабоченность все более широким применением биомедицинских репродуктивных технологий, ибо манипулирование человеческой жизнью — это покушение на основы бытия человека, сотворенного по образу Божию. Считаем своим долгом напомнить о непреложности христианских нравственных принципов, основанных на уважении к достоинству человека, который призван к жизни, согласной с замыслом своего Творца.

        We call on each person to respect the inherent right to life. Millions of babies are deprived of the possibility of the birth. The voice of the blood of unborn children cries out to God. (Gen. 4:10).

        The spread of so-called euthanasia leads to the result that the elderly and sick begin to feel themselves to be an excessive burden on their families and society as a whole.

        We express our concern about the increasingly widespread use of biomedical reproductive technologies for the manipulation of human life – this is a diminishment of the foundations of the human being, created in the image of God. We consider it our duty to recall the immutability of Christian moral principles based on respect for human dignity which is intended for the living according to the plan of their Creator.

        22. Мы хотим обратить сегодня особое слово к христианской молодежи. Вам, молодым, надлежит не зарывать талант в землю (Мф. 25:25), но употребить все дарованные вам Богом способности для утверждения в мире истины Христовой, для воплощения в жизнь евангельских заповедей о любви к Богу и ближнему. Не бойтесь идти против течения, отстаивая правду Божию, с которой далеко не всегда сообразуются современные секулярные стандарты.

        We wish to direct today a special word to the Christian youth. You, the young, should not bury our talent in the earth (Matt. 25:25), but use all the abilities God has given you for the affirmation in the world of the truth of Christ, for the fullfillment of the evangelical commandment of love of God and neighbor. Do not be afraid to go against the tide, defending the truth of God, which does not always conform to modern secular standards.

        23. Бог любит вас и от каждого из вас ожидает, что вы будете Его учениками и апостолами. Станьте светом мира, чтобы окружающие, видя ваши добрые дела, прославляли Отца вашего Небесного (Мф. 5:14-16). Воспитывайте детей в вере христианской, передайте им драгоценную жемчужину веры (Мф. 13:46), которую вы получили от ваших родителей и предков. Не забывайте, что «вы куплены дорогою ценою» (1 Кор. 6:20) — ценою смерти на кресте Богочеловека Иисуса Христа.

        God loves you and expects each of you to be his disciples and apostles. Be the light of the world, that others seeing your good works might glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5: 14-16.). Nurture your children in the Christian faith, give them the precious pearl of faith (Matt. 13:46) that you received from your parents and ancestors. Do not forget that “you are bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20.) – at the cost of death on the cross God-man Jesus Christ.

        24. Православные и католики объединены не только общим Преданием Церкви первого тысячелетия, но и миссией проповеди Евангелия Христова в современном мире. Эта миссия предполагает взаимное уважение членов христианских общин, исключает любые формы прозелитизма.

        Мы не соперники, а братья: из этого понимания мы должны исходить во всех наших действиях по отношению друг к другу и к внешнему миру. Призываем католиков и православных во всех странах учиться жить вместе в мире, любви и единомыслии между собою (Рим. 15:5). Недопустимо использовать неподобающие средства для принуждения верующих к переходу из одной Церкви в другую, пренебрегая их религиозной свободой и их собственными традициями. Мы призваны воплощать в жизнь завет апостола Павла и «благовествовать не там, где уже было известно имя Христово, дабы не созидать на чужом основании» (Рим. 15:20).

        24. Orthodox and Catholics are united not only by a common tradition of the Church of the first millennium, but also the mission of preaching the Gospel of Christ in the world today. This mission involves mutual respect for members of Christian communities and excludes any form of proselytism.

        We are not rivals but brothers: from this understanding we must proceed in all our actions in relation to each other and to the outside world. We urge Catholics and Orthodox in all countries to learn to live together in peace, love and harmony with one another (Romans 15: 5.). You should not use improper means to force believers to move from one Church [sic] to another, neglecting their religious freedom and their own traditions. We are called to implement in life the covenant of the Apostle Paul and “to preach the gospel, not where the name of Christ was already known, lest I should build on another man’s foundation” (Rom. 15:20).
        [NOTE: The above article 24 is problematic, to say the least.]

        25. Надеемся, что наша встреча внесет вклад в примирение там, где существуют трения между греко-католиками и православными. Сегодня очевидно, что метод «униатизма» прежних веков, предполагающий приведение одной общины в единство с другой путем ее отрыва от своей Церкви, не является путем к восстановлению единства. В то же время, церковные общины, которые появились в результате исторических обстоятельств, имеют право существовать и предпринимать все необходимое для удовлетворения духовных нужд своих верных, стремясь к миру с соседями. Православные и греко-католики нуждаются в примирении и нахождении взаимоприемлемых форм сосуществования.

        We hope that our meeting contributes to reconciliation where there is friction between Greek Catholics and Orthodox. Today it is obvious that the method of “Uniatism” from past centuries involving the leading of one community into unity with another by its separation from its Church is not the way to restore unity. At the same time the church communities which have appeared as a result of historical circumstances have the right to exist and to take all necessary measures to meet the spiritual needs of their faithful, striving for peace with their neighbors. The Orthodox and the Greek Catholics are in need of reconciliation and of finding mutually acceptable forms of coexistence.

        26. Мы скорбим о противостоянии на Украине, унесшем уже множество жизней, причинившем бесчисленные страдания мирным жителям, ввергнувшем общество в глубокий экономический и гуманитарный кризис. Призываем все стороны конфликта к благоразумию, общественной солидарности и деятельному миротворчеству. Призываем наши Церкви на Украине трудиться для достижения общественного согласия, воздерживаться от участия в противоборстве и не поддерживать дальнейшее развитие конфликта.

        We mourn the confrontation in Ukraine which has claimed many lives already and which has resulted in the suffering of countless civilians, plunging society into a deep economic and humanitarian crisis. We call all parties of the conflict to prudence, social solidarity and active peacemaking. We urge our Churches [sic] to work in Ukraine to achieve social harmony and refrain from engaging in confrontation and not to support any further expansion of the conflict.

        27. Выражаем надежду на то, что раскол среди православных верующих Украины будет преодолен на основе существующих канонических норм, что все православные христиане Украины будут жить в мире и согласии, а католические общины страны будут этому способствовать, чтобы наше христианское братство было еще более очевидно.

        We express our hope that the schism among the Orthodox believers in Ukraine will be overcome on the basis of the existing canonical norms so that all Orthodox Christians of Ukraine will live in peace and harmony and the Catholic community of the country will contribute to this in order for our Christian brotherhood to be even more manifest.

        28. В современном мире — многоликом и в то же время объединенном общей судьбой — католики и православные призваны братски соработничать для возвещения Евангелия спасения, для общего свидетельства о нравственном достоинстве и подлинной свободе человека, «да уверует мир» (Ин. 17:21). Этот мир, в котором стремительно подрываются духовные устои человеческого бытия, ждет от нас сильного христианского свидетельства во всех областях личной и общественной жизни. От того, сможем ли мы в переломную эпоху вместе нести свидетельство Духа истины, во многом зависит будущее человечества.

        In the modern world – multifaceted and at the same time united by a common destiny – Catholics and Orthodox are called to cooperate fraternally to the proclamation of the Gospel of salvation, to a common witness of moral dignity and genuine human freedom, “that the world may believe” (John 17:21.). This world, in which the moral foundations of human existence are rapidly being undermined, expects from us a strong Christian witness in all areas of personal and social life. Thus, the future of mankind largely depends on whether we can bear witness to the Spirit of Truth together in this pivotal era.

        29. В безбоязненном возвещении правды Божией и спасающей Благой вести да поможет нам Богочеловек Иисус Христос, наш Господь и Спаситель, духовно укрепляющий нас Своим неложным обетованием: «Не бойся, малое стадо! Ибо Отец ваш благоволил дать вам Царство» (Лк. 12:32).

        Христос — источник радости и надежды. Вера в Него преображает жизнь человека, наполняет ее смыслом. В этом на собственном опыте убедились все те, о ком можно сказать словами апостола Петра: «Некогда не народ, а ныне народ Божий; некогда непомилованные, а ныне помилованы» (1 Пет. 2:10).

        In fearless proclamation of God’s righteousness and the saving Gospel, may the God-man, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, help us, Who spiritually strengthens us with His unfailing promise: “Fear not, little flock; For it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom “(Lk. 12:32).

        Christ is the source of joy and hope. Faith in Him transforms the life of man, fills it with meaning. Of all those who have experienced this firsthand, one may say in the words of the Apostle Peter: “Never a people, but now God’s people; never having obtained mercy, but now having obtained mercy “(1 Pet. 2:10).

        30. Исполненные благодарности за дар взаимопонимания, явленный на нашей встрече, обращаемся с надеждой к Пресвятой Матери Божией, взывая к Ней словами древней молитвы: «Под Твою милость прибегаем, Богородице Дево». Пусть Преблагословенная Дева Мария Своим предстательством укрепит братство всех, Ее почитающих, дабы они в Богом определенное время были собраны в мире и единомыслии во единый народ Божий, да прославится имя Единосущной и Неразделимой Троицы!

        Filled with gratitude for the gift of mutual understanding manifested at our meeting, we appeal with hope to the Blessed Mother of God, crying out to her the words of the ancient prayer: “To thy mercy we hasten, O Virgin Mother of God.” May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary through her intercession strengthen brotherhood among all who venerate her so that they might at a time determined by God be gathered in peace and concord into one people of God that the name of the consubstantial and indivisible Trinity may be glorified!

        Патриарх Московский Епископ Римский,

        и всея Руси Кирилл Папа Католической Церкви Франциск

        12 февраля 2016 года, Гавана (Куба)

        Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’, Kirill Bishop of Rome, Pope of the Catholic Church [sic], Francis

        February 12, 2016, Havana (Cuba)

  9. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Well, a most interesting and surprisingly comprehensive joint statement….

    That wasn’t drafted overnight.

  10. I read this carefully. It sounds like it was written in Moscow, which is a good thing. I think you can tell where the source of the inspiration in the text comes from – from the Orthodox side. I think it was the only way to get +Kirill to agree to meet Pope Francis. But Pope Francis agreed to it all too. It is sober. There is no innovation-pushing here. Remarkable, actually, in this day and age.

    +Kirill needs to get on the world stage to represent true Orthodoxy, to make sure water is poured on whatever innovations +Bart and his gang wish to push. The example will – and must – be set. The Russians know very well where the source of innovations come from, and they are in no mood to tolerate it.

  11. It’s refreshing to hear an Orthodox patriarch who doesn’t keep saying “We” and refrains from historical fiction about St Andrew or his self-applied “Green” nickname. He also actually lives in the city he’s named for, another novel idea. Nice statement, friendly and dull.

  12. Sean Richardson says

    As much as is being said, the commentary about the meeting is far more fascinating than the meeting itself.
    In my humble estimation, and I could be way off base here, this is as much about tweaking PoC as it is about any sort of coming together of West and East. It’s a power grab by Moscow, and honestly, it needed to be done, if for no other reason than to force the Patriarch of Constantinople to get moving, to exert leadership and a vision for Orthodoxy in the future. The PoC needs to either leave the past behind, or he will be left behind with his past.
    I’m wondering, as well, if this will lead to any serious effort to protect the Christians of the Middle East (something the PoA should be leading). I pray it does.

  13. In the joint statement point no. 6 passage:

    6. “Mindful of the permanence of many obstacles, it is our hope that our meeting may contribute to the re–establishment of this unity willed by God, for which Christ prayed.” ….

    On the one hand you have the “obstacles” that are being deemed “of permanence” and yet there is the “meeting” that is “hoped for may contribute to the re-establishment of this unity” which they mean eucharistic union. There is an inherent contradiction here. How can the meeting contribute to “re-establishment of unity” if there are the permanent obstacles? It cannot unless you take the “obstacles” which are all the RCC’s heresies over many centuries and sweep them under the rug and then say “unity” trumps all heresies and having “eucharistic union” is all that actually really matters even though there are the many fundamental differences in doctrine such as papal primacy, the filioque and calendar and lots of other things as well like all the ecumenism of the RCC including with non Christian religions altogether. So Pat. Kirill has signed onto this. There should not have been anything signed, they could have had the meeting without anyone signing anything.

    Also interesting to note in their point/paragraph No. 5 the Scriptural citation: “So that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you … so that they may be one, as we are one” (Jn 17:21). …. In the WCC “Basis” their “Mission Statement” they use the same Scriptural citation:

    “It is a community of churches on the way to visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship, expressed in worship and in common life in Christ. It seeks to advance towards this unity, as Jesus prayed for his followers, ‘so that the world may believe.’ (John 17:21)”

    So this looks like first steps towards RCC-MP ecumenism with politics and all the political events of the day being thrusted forward and necessitating “a common witness” while the matters of Faith then take a backseat with only a measure of “mindfulness” being sufficient for the requirements of matters of Faith. Historical pre-MP ROC would not have ever in any way shape or form ever gone along with any of this.

    • Cy,

      In the Russian version, Article 6 reads:

      “Aware of the numerous (or “multifaceted”) obstacles to be overcome . . .”

      Also, Pat. Kirill has gotten on the net and assured his flock that this is not a precursor to union:

      • Misha,

        I was aware your of your point. A number of translations have it as “permanence of many obstacles” however such as “” and “vaticanradio” and elsewhere I’ve seen:

        For all intents and purposes, reality is that the obstacles i.e. all the RCC heresies are “pretty permanent” by any estimation. The RCC is not going to dial back to pre 1054 Catholic Church teaching, doctrine and dogma. Those are all “set in stone” so all of that is of “permanence” however it may be.

        As for any assurances from Pat. Kirill the Soviets have a long history of saying one thing with the lips and with the hands doing something quite the opposite. There is no credence to anything he says. Just look at right here even, he signed this document, besides paragraph 6 there are plenty other references pointing the way toward ecumenism and he is on board with all this “common witness” stuff lets not be so naive and gullible.

  14. Michael Woerl says

    The EP’s Jesuit employed guy weighs in: “This isn’t benevolence. It’s not a newfound desire for Christian unity,” said George Demacopoulos (sure that ain’t “Demagogoulos?”) the Greek-Orthodox chairman of Orthodox Christian studies at Fordham University in New York. “It is almost entirely about (Kirill) posturing and trying to present himself as the leader of Orthodoxy.”
    …. Just like (Bartholomew) posturing in Istanbul with continual Vatican support as “the Leader of Orthodoxy?” Somebody … not happy!?!?!?
    Is the guy af Fordham & Deacon Chryssavagis heads of the EP’s Official Anti-Russia Department? Or, just co-managers of the US branch?

    • Michael Warren says

      Istanbul is irrelevant precisely because of ridiculous Renovationists like this Dermocopoulos. Being a Turkish subject on the Vatican/CIA payroll standing for branch theory and the Protestant mainline, closeted Uniate transformation of Orthodoxy is just a ridiculous joke. Russia represents and defends 90-95% of the Orthodox world. Istanbul represents AHEPA, need schism we got your back, and Timothy Ware is so great 1 – 3% of Orthodoxy and that is a declining number. Istanbul has done more for the Unia and for Protestantism in the last century than it has for the Orthodox, and Orthodoxy is done with its Byzantine posturing. It doesn’t matter. Primacy in the Church, and in Christendom as a whole, has shifted to Moscow, the Third Rome. That’s just the reality on the ground. And Renovationist sectarians like Dermocopoulos make Istanbul matter less. In the Greek State Church he would be considered a fringe sectarian: he isn’t even really Greek Orthodox.

  15. Michael Woerl says

    Perhaps the Vatican has tired of dealing with the EP. After several years of PR from the Vatican has apoended “the Leader of the World’s Orthodox Christians” to each and every mention of Patriarch Bartholomew’s name in their mammoth worldwide press apparatus, and after the joint EP-Vatican campaign to convince the Orthodox that SOMEBODY has to be in charge to bring order into all those pesky autocephalous Churches has pretty much gotten them absolutely nowhere on the “Christian Unity” deal, maybe the Vatican figures its high time for another approach.
    While Mr. Demagogoulos is correct (but not for the snotty reasons he thinks!) this is no “newfound desire for Christian unity,” doesn’t seem that particular preoccupation has won friends and influenced people for the EP. Cooperation concerning the dire situation of Christians in the Middle East? Most certainly! More of the same ole tired Ecumania that has proven to be primarily a waste of time and money? Definitely not! The leadup to the Meeting in Crete (aka “Council”) seems to have proven the EP’s path and influence are on the wane …

    • EP-Vatican agenda is for the creation of a “Neo-papacy” in Orthodoxy. Then once they achieve that with whomever it may be, Kirill or Bart or whomever, Vatican probably doesn’t really even care, next thing then is for the “eastern pope” to take a backseat to the “roman pope” and that then is what the “End Game” is to be. Vatican’s objective has always been to make the pope a worldwide church leader over and above everyone else including the Church Herself.

  16. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    I think we should realize that this meeting could not have taken place without the high blessing of Vladimir Putin. He should be the ultimate recipient of thanks or blame, as the case may be.
    In the famous (or infamous) Byzantine “symphonia”, there is only ONE CONDUCTOR: the State!

    • +Tikhon:

      I think we should realize that this meeting could not have taken place without the high blessing of Vladimir Putin. He should be the ultimate recipient of thanks or blame, as the case may be.
      In the famous (or infamous) Byzantine “symphonia”, there is only ONE CONDUCTOR: the State!

      Putin set the whole thing up. The only points that matter in the Declaration issued after the meeting from the point of view of the Russian state – and therefore the Russian church – are the paragraphs concerning persecution of Christians “in the Middle East and North Africa” (but not anywhere else, apparently). These paragraphs provide a rationale and in effect a religious imprimatur for Putin to continue with his war-mongering in strategically important regions such as Syria.

      • Michael Warren says

        Because US WMDs in Iraq, creation/sponsorship/harboring of Al Qaeda/ISIS/DAESH are not American “war mongering.” Those were nuns not raped and massacred by McCain’s “freedom fighters.” Christian churches and monasteries weren’t looted and destroyed by savages driving a fleet of USA purchased Toyotas. Blackwater mercs with black baggers weren’t on the ground as advisors doing fire control. Al Jazeera and the US military tatooes on the carcasses on the allies of “freedom fighters” who had crucified Christians are all just a misunderstanding. Yet now the killing is coming to a halt. The US terrorists are being routed. US supplies have been destroyed.

        But hey Red, White, and Blue Uber Alles isn’t to blame for the carnage it sponsors in the Mideast. Yet Putin is the enemy for ending it and bringing peace.

        The diseased mind of a Russophobe who has only lies left to support a failed and murderous civilizational model: electric Uncle Sam on the ropes.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Perhaps V. Putin was made nervous by President Obama’s initiatives relative to Cuba, and told Kirill to make that trip to be sure Russia keeps a hand in Cuba no matter what!
      In other words, the Pope wanted the meeting for religious/ecclesiastical reasons: Putin wanted it for reasons of political desperation. The meeting was his idea, and the Pope, a clever sort, agreed immediately: Kirill had no choice at all and probably surprised his own Russian Hierarchy with it!

  17. George,

    I posted the entire translation in one piece on my FB page: Click here Misha

    You can delete my prior posts of it in piecemeal fashion. If you wish to post it on your blog, you have my permission. If not, that’s fine too. I went over it again. There may be little spelling errors or quirks here and there but I caught as much as I could.

  18. Michael Kinsey says

    The complex and lengthly statement was not composed by the 2 principals engaged in oral discourse with each other. The legions of priests, in mixed sessions with both sides present, did create this lamb speaking gem. To what end? The act like dragon may follow. But, I do not see either revealed as Antichrist.

  19. Michael Kinsey says

    Speaking of high blessing. It is doubtful, that the high blessing of Leonid Brezhnev was not also required to grant the autocephaly to the OCA. The human heart, mind and soul are what makes a Christian. I expect these authentic Christians a re scattered about in the dominations.. Certainly, one denomination does not contain them all. But, Orthodoxy has always had the purest apostolic teachings.

    • Michael Warren says

      Orthodoxy is not a denomination. It is the unadulterated fulness of Truth constituting the authentic Catholic Church in toto. Everything else represents fragmentary presentations of Truth, polluted with varying degrees of error, embodying unlawful assemblies, outside of the Church, groups which are denominations of an aspirant Christian rebellion against CHRIST’s Church.

      Brezhnev had less a hand in the grant of OCA autocephaly than Peter I had in the abolition of the Patriarchate. The granting of OCA autocephaly actually made the OCA freer to pursue an American identity. The broadcasts of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, +Archbishop John (Shakhovskoi) and others on Voice of America into the Soviet Union during the era arrest that Brezhnev did not interfere. Solzhenitsyn was a member of the OCA. The fact there was so little oversight led +Metropolitan Irenei’s chancery to accede to his retirement resulting in the ruinous period which followed. In a personal war with ROCOR, certain of our churchmen rejected both it and the Mother Church for a more Parisian (and sometimes Renovationist) course which cost us dearly. +Metropolitan Leonty would not have allowed the wreckage of the 1980’s and the 1990’s to have happened. Brezhnev and his successors didn’t care. I can assure you.

      One of our principle problems is first, second, third generation descendents of even our prominent churchmen are often not Orthodox today. A party nominalizing worship, alienating heritage, insisting on contrivances has only alienated core believers. There needs to be a balance restored going forward.

  20. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    I had no idea Mr Putin played chess, but I now see that he engaged President Obama’s moves on the Caribbean chessboard by sending a bishop to Cuba-6. The next move will be President Obama’s. Luckily. Cuba is just one space away for the king!

  21. Michael Kinsey says

    The Sergian KJB clerical hierarchy was in full control of the Russian Church in the 1970′ s They killed almost all the authentically faithful in the Gulag. You say Leonid was not involved, perhaps, because he did not need to be.