Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill will meet next week in Cuba — the first time leaders of the two churches have ever met since a 1,000-year-old schism divided Christianity.
For the Orthodox, such a meeting is a historic step toward healing what has been called the East-West schism. It also is a sign of hope for all Christians.
The first Pope of the Russian Orthodox Church is a man whose life is filled with religious and political interest. His erudition, media savvy and administrative ability are all very high.
In his time, the Russian Orthodox Church had a deep suspicion towards the Latins who were vying for control over it. The Russians were apprehensive of the Latins’ influence over their bishops and their priests.
For this reason, they did not allow non-Orthodox, in this case, Latins, to receive the sacraments from them. In 1620, Patriarch Philaret urged the Russian Church to make these decisions, which were carried out.
Despite this, Orthodox theology still holds that the apostles are more significant than the bishops, who are in charge of local churches. The difference is very large, as the apostles are roaming preachers of the Gospel, while the bishops have a fixed place in a parish, and they lead it.
The Orthodox and Catholic theologies are a curious mix of fact, fantasy, and cultural import. In the case of Russia, that mix arose in the repressive years of the Soviet regime, when religious beliefs were a form of generational rebellion against doctrinaire communist parents and a tool for restraining social advancement.
Pope Francis has cultivated ecumenical relations with the Russian Orthodox Church, which is the world’s largest. But he has stayed away from meeting with the patriarch of Moscow, the spiritual head of the Russian Orthodox church.
Illarion of Volokolamsk, who leads the ROC in Moscow, said that long-standing differences between the two churches will remain. But they are put aside for Kirill and Francis to work together against the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
The pope’s meeting with Patriarch Kirill will be the first in history and will mark an important stage in the relationship between the two churches, a joint statement said. It took two years of intense negotiations to schedule the meeting.
A symbol is something that has a special meaning in a certain context. It can be an object, a person or a situation.
Symbols are used in many types of literature, such as poetry and literary fiction. They are often used to convey emotion, which helps readers connect with the characters and themes in the work.
One common type of symbolism is historic mythology. These stories have been around for thousands of years and are deeply connected with many spiritual and religious groups.
Another popular form of symbolism is personification. It is a way for writers to make an inanimate object or non-human character act like someone else.
For example, a bird is used to symbolize mortality in a poem by Edgar Allen Poe. In the same way, blood is used to represent inner feelings in a play by William Shakespeare.
There are three rites for the reception of those who turn to the Orthodox Church: baptism, chrismation and confession. These include those who turn to the Orthodox Church from other churches (pagans, Jews and Muslims), who baptize correctly by three immersions with the Divinely formulated words “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”, as well as those who are separated from the Orthodox Church on questions of moral, ritual or disciplinary matters as well as those who err in particular dogmas of faith (Arians, Macedonians and others).
In accordance with canonical tradition, these are received by re-baptism when their baptism is deficient for some reason or invalid on account of deficient practice or deficient faith. They are also received by Chrismation and the signing of a Libellus of recantation of their previous errors of heterodoxy.