Monday, February 15, 2016

RELIGION - After 1000 Years....

"Pope and patriarch meet for first time in nearly 1,000 years" PBS NewsHour 2/12/2016


SUMMARY:  In the first meeting between leaders of Christianity’s largest churches since the Great Schism of 1054, Pope Francis met with Patriarch Kirill of the Eastern Orthodox Church Friday afternoon in Havana.  Hari Sreenivasan talks to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, and the Most Blessed Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America, for more on the historic moment.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  This afternoon in Havana, at Jose Marti Airport, a meeting 1,000 years in the making.  Pope Francis met with Patriarch Kirill of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the first meeting between the leaders of Christianity’s two largest churches since 1054, when a schism split the ancient church.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  The meeting on neutral ground was decades in the planning.  The leaders met for two hours behind closed doors, and later signed a joint declaration decrying persecution of Christians around the world.

We explore this historic moment, and its impact going forward, with His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon.  He is the Orthodox archbishop of Washington, D.C., and the primate of the Orthodox Church in America, its senior-most leader in the U.S. and Canada.  And His Eminence Theodore Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the Roman Catholic archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C.

First, for someone who hasn’t been following the 1,000-year-long rift between these two branches, why is this so important, and why did it happen now?

THE MOST BLESSED TIKHON, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America:  There’s been attempts to bridge that gap over the years, none of which have really been successful.

But, in the last, you know, number of years, the last few decades, the groundwork for such a possible discussion has been taking place.  So, while this meeting may seem like a somewhat new or surprising event, it has been discussed with both Pope Francis’ predecessors and patriarchals, but somehow the particular meeting that is happening today in Cuba didn’t take place.

But it’s — there have certainly been relations between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches during the past 1,000 years, but there has been a lot of both theological and ecclesiastical differences that need to be worked out, as well as just the simple physical separation that has sort of contributed to sort of a great divide.

So, a great opportunity now in this time of strife in the world to see two great world leaders come together and begin more — perhaps more formally, a dialogue.

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