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In the evening of September 27, 2011, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, arrived in Rome for an official visit, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

At Ciampino airport he was met by Fr. Antony (Sevryuk), rector of the church of St. Catherine in Rome and secretary of the administration of the Moscow Patriarchate parishes in Italy, Mr. N. Sadchikov, Russian ambassador to the Vatican, and Fr. Milan Zust of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

The DECR chairman is expected to meet with Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Jianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan. The visit will be concluded with participation in a concert of Russian church music held as part of the Year of Russian Culture and Language in Italy. The concert will be held in the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie and expected to be attended by Ms. S. Medvedeva.

Metropolitan Hilarion is accompanied by Archpriest Dmitry Sizonenko, DECR secretary for inter-Christian relations, Fr. Ioann (Guaita) of the DECR, Fr. Ioann (Kopeikin), assistant to the DECR chairman, and Mr. L. Sevastyanov, executive director of the St. Gregory the Theologian Charity.

DECR Communication Service