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On 19 May 2010, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, currently in Rome with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, met with the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi.

Metropolitan Hilarion told him about the presentation in Milan of an Italian edition of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s book “Freedom and Responsibility” with preface written by Archbishop Ravasi.

Archbishop Ravasi noted an important part played by joint cultural initiatives in the dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

Metropolitan Hilarion and Archbishop Ravasi expressed their appreciation with the development of cooperation and noted an important part played by art and culture in the dialogue with modern society.

They discussed practical aspects of joint events due to take place in 2011 in the framework of the celebration of the Year of Russian Culture in Italy and Italian Culture in Russia.