Unity and Understanding Will Prevail

Elio Delgado Legon

The pope and the patriarch.
The pope and the patriarch in Havana.

HAVANA TIMES — The 2-hour gathering between Pope Francis and Kirill, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, held in Havana on February 12 has put an end to nearly a millennium of misunderstanding and hostility between two Christian churches that maintain different points of view on a number of religious issues, but are united by their faith in and love of Christ.

The joint declaration signed by the two religious leaders at the conclusion of the meeting begins with the following two points:

“1. By God the Father’s will, from which all gifts come, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the help of the Holy Spirit Consolator, we, Pope Francis and Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, have met today in Havana. We give thanks to God, glorified in the Trinity, for this meeting, the first in history.

It is with joy that we have met like brothers in the Christian faith who encounter one another “to speak face to face” (2 Jn 12), from heart to heart, to discuss the mutual relations between the Churches, the crucial problems of our faithful, and the outlook for the progress of human civilization.

  1. Our fraternal meeting has taken place in Cuba, at the crossroads of North and South, East and West. It is from this island, the symbol of the hopes of the “New World” and the dramatic events of the history of the twentieth century, that we address our words to all the peoples of Latin America and of the other continents.

It is a source of joy that the Christian faith is growing here in a dynamic way.  The powerful religious potential of Latin America, its centuries–old Christian tradition, grounded in the personal experience of millions of people, are the pledge of a great future for this region.”

Pope Francis, leader of the Catholic Church, and Patriarch Kirill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, have offered an example of how frank and open dialogue can overcome all differences, and that the solutions to the current world crisis are to be found in understanding and unity within diversity, not through the use of force.

The entire world has followed the gathering of the religious leaders closely and see in it a beacon of hope and an example of how the world’s problems can be confronted today – it is not with sanctions, blockades and threat of war that those of us who inhabit the Earth are to achieve understanding.

The leaders of the two churches who have flocks of hundreds of millions of believers are concerned about the situation faced by Christians in different parts of the world, where they suffer the violence caused by war and misunderstanding.

The two held their historical meeting in Cuba, a land where many religious coexist in harmony, and, at the conclusion of the gathering, Pope Francis thanked the Cuban government for its help and reception and stated: “If it continues this way, Cuba will be the capital of unity.”

And it couldn’t be any other way, as we Cubans are convinced that diplomatic efforts always yield the best fruits and that unity and dialogue will prevail over hatred and war.



Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

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6 thoughts on “Unity and Understanding Will Prevail

  • “Nearly crime free family environment” …?

    First of all, you hate the family, remember?

    Secondly, Cuba is far from crime free as it has the 6th highest incarceration rate in the world. There are the usual crimes such as robbery, assault, murder and there are those crimes peculiar to Cuba such as criticizing the government, praying at a church, walking while carrying a gladiola, trying to leave the country without government permission, speaking freely, eating lobster,… & etc.

    In contrast to Moses, I strongly disagree with Obama on many issues, but I have never believed he is Muslim or a Communist.

    Your attempts at sarcasm are hampered by two things: one, you know very little about Cuban history. Two, you lack a sense of humour. You can fix the former by educating yourself. Alas, there’s nothing you can do about the latter.

  • Elio, are you unaware that the Castro regime is currently engaged in a massive wave of repression against protestant church groups in Cuba? Hundreds of Assemblies of God churches have been outlawed & demolished. Pastors and parishioner have been arrested. That Kirill & Francis met may be a good thing, but that they chose to meet in Cuba, a land with a government engaged in ongoing religious persecution, is bizarre and hypocritical.

  • Your comment is unnecessarily stupid. You seem to be unable to simply disagree based upon facts on the ground. Yes, I supported President Obama and he is neither a communist nor a Muslim.

  • “Could you be a bigger hypocrite?” asks the man who claims to support the Cuban people while attempting to starve them into reinstating free enterprise capitalism which would also take away their medical care, free schooling, guaranteed rations and a nearly crime-free safe family environment .
    In the past few days the US announced that regularly scheduled U.S. airline service would open between the US and Cuba and that your guy (socialist-Muslim) President Obama will be visiting the commie island just to get tips on how to destroy America .
    My life is good. .
    ,

  • His Holiness the head of the Orthodox Church mention Syria an Iraq yet he forget to mention Palestine in the latest interview at AT TV – WHY ?

  • “as we Cubans are convinced that diplomatic efforts always yield the best fruits and that unity and dialogue will prevail over hatred and war.” Gimme a break, Elio. The Castros began or participated in at least 5 revolutions, insurgencies or uprisings. Now that you find yourself with a piss-ant military and no ‘sugar daddy’ to pay the bills, you want to smoke the peace pipe. Could you be a bigger hypocrite?

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