The Vatican announces a meeting with Russian Orthodox Church leader, first in history

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(CNN) – Pope Francis will meet the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kyril, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi announced Friday.

It will be the first meeting between the heads of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches in history, since the split between Eastern and Western Christianity nearly 1,000 years ago.

Lombardi called the meeting “beautiful news.”

The meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kyril will be February 12 in Cuba, as the pope heads for Mexico, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Friday.