On 19 November 2016, at the Patriarchal residence in St Daniel’s Monastery, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with His Holiness and Beatitude Catholicos-Patriarch Iliya II of Georgia.
Among those who accompanied the head of the Georgian Church were Metropolitan Theodore of Akhaltsikhe and Tao-Klarjeti, Metropolitan Gerasim of Zugdidi and Tsaishi, Metropolitan Andrea of Gori and Samtavisi, protopresbyter George Zviadadze, Archimandrite Mirian (Shengelia), Archimandrite David (Chincharauli); archpriest David Sharashenidze; archpriest Alexander Galdava; and Sister Alexandra (Yasybash).
The Russian Orthodox Church was also represented by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; Archbishop Roman of Yakutsk and Lensk; archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR vice-chairman; archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations; and archpriest Vladimir Alexandrov, DECR staff member.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill cordially greeted the Primate of the Georgian Orthodox Church, saying, “I particularly appreciate the presence of Your Holiness and Beatitude. You have been carrying out your Patriarchal ministry longer than any of the current Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches, and your life is closely linked to the life of the Russian Orthodox Church. My biography is intertwined with yours: we took part in many events, both joyful and sorrowful, that were a part of the life of the Orthodox Christians living in the Soviet Union. And later we have always had good, sincere and open relations, based on mutual trust. I believe it has made its great contribution to the promotion of good relationships between our Churches.”
As His Holiness Patriarch Kirill mentioned, the Church of the Holy Great Martyr George in Moscow has become the spiritual centre for representatives of the Georgian diaspora. According to an agreement of the Primates of the Russian and the Georgian Churches, Archimandrite Mirian (Shengelia) takes pastoral care of its parishioners; the divine services are celebrated in the Church Slavonic and Georgian languages. “On Wednesday the church will hold a great celebration – the commemoration day of St George, ‘Giorgoba’ in the Georgian language. It is very important that the Georgian community will be able to meet with their Primate, their spiritual father, and pray together,” His Holiness Patriarch Kirill said and noted that the Russian community also has churches in Tbilisi, in which the divine services are celebrated in Church Slavonic.
“May the blessing of God and the intercession of the Heavenly Queen always be with our Churches, our peoples and our countries. Welcome to Moscow,” the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church said in conclusion.
His Holiness and Beatitude Catholicos-Patriarch Iliya II of All Georgia warmly greeted His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on behalf of the Georgian Orthodox Church, wishing peace and prosperity to the country, to the Russian Orthodox Church and to her Primate.
“The relationships between the Russian and the Georgian Orthodox Churches are of great importance for our states and for our peoples,” His Beatitude said in particular, “Our Churches set an example for the political leaders.”
The participants in the meeting discussed the relations between the peoples and the Churches and the pan-Orthodox cooperation.
DECR Communication Service
Photo by the Patriarchal Press Service