Patriarch Kirill, who spoke to RT America host Ed Schultz following his meeting with Pope Francis, said joint action is needed to protect Christians in the Middle East
While Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church met in Havana, Cuba, RT America host Ed Schultz had the opportunity to interview the patriarch after his meeting with the pope.
The video, published on Feb 15th, 2016 is around 25 minutes in length and packed with discussion topics including:
-The re-birth of Christianity in Russia, which has gone through somewhat of a radical transformation since the fall of the Soviet Union, but has also gone somewhat unnoticed in the west.
- Persecution of Christians in the Middle East, which, as Patriarch Kirill noted, would require force to defeat the terrorists who are murdering and destroying all that is left of Christianity in the region.
- The difficulties faced by Christians in developed countries, especially how atheistic movements have been trying to push Christianity out of public life.
- US-Russia relations. This topic is especially important to him, as he stated that due to the destructive capabilities of both Russia and the United States, all measures must be taken to avoid war between the two nations, stating that Americans and Russians share many of the same values, as both nations have their roots in Christianity.
- In regards to Europe's immigration/refugee crisis. While stating that we must help refugees coming to Europe, the patriarch also said that rather than simply "giving them a fish" we should help them make it possible to return home and prosper once again.
"Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime"
- On meeting Pope Francis, the Patriarch mentioned how easy it was to speak with him because the two shared the same faith in Jesus Christ.
- Among his most important proposals, the patriarch stated his willingness to address US congress, just as Pope Francis did in 2015. When asked about it, Patriarch Kirill even replied in English:
“I’m ready to have contact and discussion with anyone who is open to the possibility of having a discussion with me. I’m entirely open to everyone."
It seems certainly clear that the meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill has opened up many more opportunities for the two churches to cooperate further, united in their Christian faith.