If you’re a follower of Catholicism, you may have heard about the upcoming meeting between Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill. It’s a historic encounter that will be the first ever between the two church leaders.
This meeting is a step toward restoring the broken relations between the world’s two most prominent Christian traditions after 1,000 years of schism and conflict. The two churches plan to announce the date and place of the encounter shortly before it takes place.
The Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has been called Pope Francis, which is the first time that name has been used by a pope. It is thought that he chose the name as a sign of his love for people and mission.
The pope is the spiritual head of the Catholic Church and, as such, has a great deal to say about the direction of the church. He has convened several synods since his election.
In February, the pope issued an apostolic exhortation that was criticized by many. It rejected a proposal that would have authorized married men to be ordained priests.
As a result, the decision weakened local bishops’ ability to determine pastoral needs and orient the Church toward those needs. It also strengthened the view that the local Church must decide what it believes is best for its members, rather than the pope.
Patriarch Kirill (Vladimir Gundyaev) is the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is the largest and most influential in the world. He was born in atheist Soviet Russia and went on to become a priest.
He is the first Patriarch of Moscow to have a papacy and the only one to be reappointed by Pope John Paul II. His papacy and apostolic succession are widely viewed as unorthodox, even in the Orthodox church.
However, he is known for his compassion for Christians and other minorities around the world. He is also a strong advocate for reconciliation.
The Argentine pope met with Patriarch Kirill for the first time in history last year in Cuba, an event that has been described as a historic step towards healing a 1,000-year-old schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. A second meeting is under consideration, though it won’t be in Russia.
The Great Schism
The Great Schism was the result of centuries of tension between Eastern and Western Christians. It was caused by a variety of factors, including ecclesiastical, theological, political, cultural, and jurisdictional differences.
The schism began in 1054, when the two sides finally clashed. They believed they were right and the other wrong on certain points of doctrine.
Despite the schism, Orthodoxy is still a worldwide Church, and many people today are part of her. However, as a result of the schism and other events in history, the Eastern Orthodox Church is split into two main branches: the Russian Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church.
Both the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches believe they are in fact one Church, although they have different canonical structures. The Orthodox Church also maintains a Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue, which is dedicated to promoting unity between the East and the West. This commission includes representatives of the Greek Orthodox patriarchates and the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow.
Ukraine has been an important issue for Orthodox Christians in recent years. The pope visited this country to celebrate the recovery of Greek Catholic churches from persecution in the Soviet Union, and has suggested that Catholics and Orthodox could be unified under a single patriarchate.
The Ukrainian schism is not only a problem for the Russian Orthodox Church, but it also raises issues about apostolic succession and oikonomia. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, which has taken a strong stand against the Moscow Patriarchate over these matters, is being accused of overstepping its authority and causing widespread confusion.
It is worth examining the schism to see how it fits with the idea of apostolic succession, the boundaries of the Church and its order. These are pillars of orthodox ecclesiology, and they have been debated over the decades by schismatics and non-schismatics alike.