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On 27 November 2012, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, met with representatives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland: Bishop Seppo Hakkinen of the Diocese of Mikkeli; Military Bishop Pekka Sarkio; executive director of the Department for Foreign Relations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Rev. Kimmo Kariainen; and Rev. Timo Roskvist.

Also taking part in the meeting, which took place at the DECR premises, archpriest Viktor Lyutik, rector of the Church of the Intercession in Helsinki and representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in Finland; archpriest Dimitry Sizonenko, acting DECR secretary for inter-Christian relations; and Ms Yelena Speranskaya of the same secretariat.

Discussed was a regular session of theological dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland due to take place in 2014. Metropolitan Hilarion underscored that the success of the dialogue largely depends on the willingness of our partners to defend traditional Christian values. He hopes that the Finnish Lutherans will be wise and will not succumb to temptations of the liberal development of church life.

The participants also discussed prospects of the exchange between educational institutions, the practice of accepting the Lutherans in the Orthodox Church and issues of pastoral work in Russia and in Finland.