In February 2016 the pope of Rome, Francis I, paid an official visit to Mexico, where he was greeted, as was to be expected in a Roman Catholic country in the very continent from which he himself hails, by jubilant, ecstatic crowds of his faithful followers.
In early February 2016 came the announcement, in the form of a joint press release: “The Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow are pleased to announce that, by the grace of God, His Holiness Pope Francis and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet on February 12 next. Their meeting will take place in Cuba, where the Pope will make a stop on his way to Mexico, and where the Patriarch will be on an official visit. It will include a personal conversation at Havana’s José Martí International Airport, and will conclude with the signing of a joint declaration.”
To the man in the street this sounded mundane enough. Boring, even, especially to non-Roman Catholics and non-Orthodox. But it was momentous indeed, for many reasons. And every true Christian should take careful note of these developments.