Revelation 17:5 refers to the Roman Church as the mother of harlots, implying that there are other false churches that are her progeny. It is only natural for a mother to want to get back together with her daughters.
For the first time ever, a pope will meet with a patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Vatican has announced.
The meeting is aimed at improving ties between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, which broke away in the year 1054.
“The importance of this event is this is the first time the pope meets the patriarch — it is extremely important for ecumenism,” Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said at a news conference Friday.
The Orthodox Church split away nearly 1,000 years ago amid disagreements over liturgy and power-sharing. Over the centuries, the relationship has been full of rancor and distrust.
In 1995, Pope John Paul II called the eastern and western churches the two lungs of Christianity….
The two leaders will meet for nearly two hours before signing a joint declaration at an event hosted by Cuban leader Raul Castro.
The signing, Lombardi said, will signify “a dialogue that can overcome previous obstacles.”
The rift between the churches goes far beyond a battle for converts in Russia. One Vatican expert said it is largely about who would come out on top if they ever reunited. There are 1.2 billion Catholics.
“It’s about who has the bigger hat,” said Robert Mickens, editor in chief of Global Pulse. “The Russians are afraid of being swallowed up.”
Mickens said the Vatican has traditionally viewed itself as superior to the Russian Orthodox Church. But Francis has made friends in Moscow by behaving more like an equal.