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On August 20, 20011, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, arrived in Istanbul. He was met at the airport by Russian Consul General A. Yerkhov and representatives of the Church of Constantinople.

On the same day, the DECR chairman met with His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

On August 21, Metropolitan Hilarion, after venerating the holy relics of St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom at St. George’s at Fanar, left together with His Holiness Bartholomew to his homeland, the Island of Gökçeada (Imbros).

The welcoming party at the pier included Metropolitan Cyril of Imbros and Tenedos, Metropolitan Chrysostom of Myra, clergy of the Imbros diocese and Orthodox faithful some of whom had come from Greece.

Patriarch Bartholomew and Metropolitan Hilarion visited the Cathedral of the Assumption, where they lit candles before an icon of the Mother of God and sang the Assumption troparion in Greek and Church Slavonic.

Metropolitan Hilarion is accompanied on his trip by Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, DECR vice-chairman, and Hierodeacon Ioann (Kopeikin), an assistant to the DECR chairman.

DECR Communication Service