Representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian have reached agreement on a joint statement calling for reconciliation between the people of Russia and Poland: a historic agreement on an issue that has caused enormous friction between the two countries and the two churches.
The joint statement, which is the product of two years of careful negotiations, received final approval at a meeting in Warsaw on March 15. Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow is expected to sign the statement when he visits Poland in August.
The document, which calls for mutual forgiveness and an end to lasting animosities, represents a breakthrough in relations between Catholics and Orthodox.
Archbishop Stanislaw Budzik of Lublin, who participated in the talks leading up to the agreement, noted that “never before in history” have bishops of the Polish Catholic Church joined with entered into such a joint statement with their Russian Orthodox counterparts.