There are two ways to look at the meeting that took place in Havana in February between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, the first in history between a Russian patriarch and a Roman Catholic pontiff. One angle is that of the internet age news cycle with its focus on short-term consequences. Another is that of church history. It moves in its own unhurried way, frequently too slow for the lay person to appreciate.
The Joint Declaration issued by the pope and the patriarch contains thoughts directly inspired by current events, including the Middle East and Ukraine, and descriptions of shared long-term challenges, such as aggressive secularism, abortions, euthanasia and gay rights.