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On June 1, 2011, during his trip to Poland, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, visited the headquarters of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Poland to meet with some leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in that country. The Polish side included Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio to Poland, Archbishop Henryk Muszynski, Honorary Primate of Poland, Bishop Stanislaw Budzik, general secretary of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, and Bishop Tadeusz Pikus, head of the Bishops’ Conference council for inter-Christian unity.

Metropolitan Hilarion was accompanied by Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations.

The sides discussed the preparation of a joint statement of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church in Poland on reconciliation of the nations in their pastoral care. The decision to work at such a document was made in February 2010.

The DECR chairman stressed that the history of relations between the two nations saw many tragic events, and approaches to their assessment should be sensitive and as well-considered as possible. According to Metropolitan Hilarion, in preparing the document, special attention should be given to today’s problems so that common challenges facing the two Churches could be identified and a common response to them could be found.

After the meeting a dinner was given in honour of Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.

DECR Communication Service