Pope expresses joy after meeting Russian Orthodox patriarch

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February 13, 2016

Pope Francis prepares to embrace Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow after the leaders signed a joint declaration during a meeting at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana Feb. 12. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-PATRIARCH-CUBA Feb. 12, 2016.

Pope Francis prepares to embrace Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow after the leaders signed a joint declaration during a meeting at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana Feb. 12. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM HAVANA (CNS) — Though their differences are recognizable and real, Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow emphasized their obligation as Christians and as bishops to encourage collaboration among Christians and charity for all who suffer.

“I felt an interior joy that truly came from the Lord,” the pope told reporters traveling with him Feb. 12 as he flew to Mexico from Havana, where he met the patriarch. The Vatican had told reporters on the plane that the pope would not be speaking to them after the meeting, but the pope said he wanted to share what he was feeling.

“It was a conversation of brothers,” Pope Francis said. The conversation was marked by freedom and “complete frankness,” he said.

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