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On 13 September 2015, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, arrived in Italy on a working visit with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

On September 14, Metropolitan Hilarion met with Angelo Cardinal Scola at the Curia of the Archdiocese of Milan. During the meeting, the hierarchs noted fruitful development in the relations between the largest Roman Catholic archdiocese in Europe and the Russian Orthodox Church. Cardinal Scola shared with Metropolitan Hilarion his warm recollections of the meeting with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in November 2013.

The DECR chairman shared with the Archbishop of Milan his impressions of the work of the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. As both hierarchs emphasized, the Orthodox-Catholic cooperation is of special significance these days, first of all, in the context of defending traditional Christian values in today’s secular society and rendering assistance to the Christians suffering because of the war in the Middle East.

The participants in the meeting also discussed the current state and prospects of cooperation between the Administration of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Parishes in Italy and the Archdiocese of Milan.

Among those who took part in the meeting were also Rev. Alexy Dikarev, a staff member of the DECR Secretariat for Inter-Christian Relations, and Deacon Roberto Pagani, a representative of the Archdiocese of Milan responsible for ecumenical dialogue.

Later that day Metropolitan Hilarion visited the Milan Cathedral, where he venerated a great Christian shrine, a nail used during the Crucifixion of Christ, and prayed at the holy relics of St Thecla the First Virgin Martyr.

After that the DECR chairman visited the Russian Orthodox Church of St Ambrose and met with its rector, Archimandrite Amvrosy (Makar), and parishioners.

DECR Communication Service