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We are brothers, Pope Francis tells Patriarch Kirill

February 12, 2016, 23:52 UTC+3

The Patriarch answered, "Now, it will be easier"

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HAVANA, February 12. /TASS/. The first-ever historic meeting between the heads of the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches is timely and is taking place at the right time and in the right place, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russian Kirill said at Havana airport on Friday.

"The meeting is taking place at the right time and in the right place," Patriarch Kirill told Pope Francis who had flown in to Havana from the Vatican City.

The patriarch also said he saw no obstacles for arranging other meetings with the pontiff.

"We are brothers," Pope Francis said in Spanish welcoming Patriarch Kirill at the airport.

The Patriarch answered, "Now, it will be easier." "Obviously, it is God’s will," Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis thanked Patriarch Kirill for changing the date of the meeting and noted that the Holy See had sought a meeting with the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

"There was a great desire in my heart for this meeting to take place," he said, adding that the time was right for the meeting, just as Patriarch Kirill said.

"I heartily thank Your Holiness for changing the date of our visit to Cuba when I could not come at your first invitation," he added.

The historic first meeting between the primates of the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is being held at Havana’s international airport. After a warm embrace the pontiff and the patriarch held a brief conversation involving an interpreter. The part of the meeting open to the media lasted about 15 minutes. It is expected that the tete-a-tete meeting will last about two hours, after which they will sign a joint declaration and make some statements.

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