Summer Institute for the Representatives of the Roman Catholic Church Opened in Moscow
Summer Institute for the representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, organized by the Ss Cyril and Methodius Institute of Post-Graduate Studies (CMI) with participation of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, began its work on the 26th of August 2016. Among the Institute participants are: members of the Catholic clergy and laypeople from Italy, France, Spain and Romania, who are studying at the Pontifical universities in Rome, Vatican staff members and representatives of the academic community of the Roman Catholic Church.
On the 27th of August, which happened to be the eve of the feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, the attendees of the Institute went to the all-night vigil service at the church of the “Joy to All the Afflicted” Icon of the Mother of God in Bolshaya Ordynka Street, Moscow. After the vigil they were welcomed by the Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, dean of the church, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, rector of the Ss Cyril and Methodius Institute of Post-Graduate Studies.
The Metropolitan said the following in his greeting: «Today I would like to greet all the attendees of the Summer Institute, which is organized annually by the Ss Cyril and Methodius Institute of Post-Graduate Studies in August. Dear brothers, throughout the next few days you will have an opportunity to visit churches, take part in services, come into contact with the sacred objects of our Church, and also learn Russian. I would like to wish you every success and God’s help. May the Holy Mother of God, our mutual Heavenly Mother, protect us against every evil and cover us with her honourable omophorion».
Within the framework of a two week-long program of the Summer Institute, its participants will visit the Moscow Patriarchate’s synodal institutions and theological schools, holy places, historical and cultural sights of Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Renowned scholars and church experts are going to acquaint the attendees of the Institute with the spiritual and cultural life of Russia, and will also discuss the relationship between the Russian Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches. Daily Russian language lessons will also be organized for the listeners of the Institute.
The project of the Summer Institute, which is organized with the financial support of the «Russkiy Mir» foundation and the Catholic foundation «Urbi et Orbi», is aimed to strengthen the academic and humanitarian cooperation between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Holy See, which is especially significant in light of the historical meeting between the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill and Pope Francis in Havana on the 12th of February 2016.
Summer Institute classes will last until the 4th of September.