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His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with Moldova’s president V. Filat on October 9, 2011, at presidential residence in Kishinev.

They were joined in their talk by Metropolitan Vladimir of Kishinev and All Moldova, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, director of the Moscow Patriarchate’s secretariat, and Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, a DECR vice-chairman.

Greeting Mr. Filat, Patriarch Kirill said in particular, ‘I love Moldova. I feel at home here amidst the hospitable, gentle and radiant people. Today I have had an opportunity to ascertain that when I saw the shining eyes filled with kindness and love. I heard people’s words of welcome, and my visit to Moldova is filled of this optimistic message. I would like in your presence to express cordial thanks to His Eminence Vladimir, the primate of the Church of Moldova, for his efforts to preserve the unity of Orthodoxy in Moldova, for his work to found parishes and monasteries, to train the clergy and to educate theologians… I also wish that His Eminence Vladimir and the whole Church of Moldova continue developing all these excellent programs for strengthening the faith, educating the Moldavian people and developing relations between the Church and the Government of Moldova. Indeed, the aims the Church sets itself have to do with real life, its moral and spiritual component and hence with law-abidance, efficiency of labour and endeavours to build, among other things, the material welfare of the country’.

In his turn, Mr. Filat thanked His Holiness for his visit to Moldova, an opportunity for which had been discussed in particular during the meetings the DECR chairman Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk had with the Moldavian leaders in March 2010.

The prime minister informed Patriarch Kirill that it was planned to begin next spring the construction of a new cathedral in Kishinev to become ‘a symbol of the unity of the Moldavian society’. He also assured His Holiness of his government’s intention to introduce the Basics of Orthodoxy to schools, so that ‘children may study and grow with love of God’.

Patriarchal Press Service/DECR Communication Service