FEB 12 2016, 5:07 AM ET
by ALEXEY EREMENKO, CLAUDIO LAVANGA and SARAH BURKE
When the pope and the patriarch come together for the first time today, one of Christianity's most enduring divisions could edge closer to becoming ancient history.
The Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches have been at odds for over 1,000 years. Friday's meeting in Havana — where Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill will sign a joint accord — could be a critical step towards helping heal the rift.
But while the Vatican billed the religious rendezvous as an "important stage" and sign of hope, the event could be more about symbolism than substance.