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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR) has congratulated the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople on the next anniversary of his Patriarchal ministry. Below is the text of the congratulatory message.

Your Holiness,

I would like respectfully to extend to you my congratulations and prayerful best wishes on the occasion of the next anniversary of your election to the old Patriarchal See of Constantinople – New Rome.

A quarter of the century ago, a conciliar decision of your fellow-hierarchs testified to the will of the Chief Pastor Christ who called you to come on top of the great candle of Primatial ministry.

Keeping watch over God’s flock not because you must, but because you are willing (1 Pet. 5:2), you have carried out your Patriarchal ministry exerting great efforts for the well-being of the Most Holy Church of Constantinople and for the unity of Orthodoxy.

On this festive day, I wish Your Holiness beneficial help from above which strengthen you spiritual and physical resources and many fruitful years of Patriarchal Office for the joy and consolation of all the faithful children of the Church of Constantinople.

With respect and love in the Lord,

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk

Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations

Moscow Patriarchate