The heads of the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches haven't spoken since the Great Schism of 1054 shattered Christianity, so they had a lot of catching up to do when they sat down for their historic meeting today (February 12, 2016) in Cuba, according to the USA Today website.
Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill embraced and kissed one another three times on the cheek as they met in the VIP room at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport.
After another round of handshakes for the cameras and greetings with members of their entourages, the two men sat and began talking. They were scheduled to hold a two-hour "personal conversation" and then sign a joint declaration.
The split between the Catholic and Orthodox churches nearly 1,000 years ago has festered over issues such as the primacy of the pope and accusations by the Russian Orthodox Church that the Catholic Church tries to poach converts in Russia.