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On April 24, 2012, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, answering questions from journalists during the presentation of the Estonian version Patriarch Kirill’s book ‘A Pastor’s Word’, informed them about the visits His Holiness Patriarch Kirill will make this year to Local Orthodox Churches.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will make a visit to Bulgaria within the next few days, on invitation from His Holiness Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria. He plans to come to Cyprus in June, to Poland in August and to Jerusalem in November.

Speaking about the reason why the visits to Local Orthodox Churches will not quite conform to the diptych, the DECR chairman stressed that ‘the diptych is not a principle that should be observed by all means. If you consider that during the first three years of his patriarchal office His Holiness Kirill managed to make only three trips in accordance with the diptych, it will take him 14 years to travel to all the Local Churches with the same pace and in the previous order. For instance, the trip to Jerusalem, next in the diptych, is planned for November, and if this principle is to be observed, it will become the only visit of this kind to be made in 2012’.

Since a number of Local Churches sent their invitation as far back as several years ago, Patriarch Kirill has decided to make these trips as invitations come and as far as possible to time them to anniversaries or commemorative events in the life of these Churches, the head of the Department for External Church Relations said.

Speaking about the forthcoming visit to the Bulgarian Church to be made in late April, Metropolitan Hilarion specified that the program of Patriarch Kirill’s trip will include a visit to Sofia and a meeting with Patriarch Maxim and members of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, as well as talks with the leaders of the country including the president, prime minister and the former Bulgarian prime minister, King Simeon. The program also includes a brief visit to Plovdiv to lay a wreath at the war memorial known as Alyosha.

DECR Communication Service