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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, sent Christmas greetings to the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches: His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, His Holiness and Beatitude Catholicos-Patriarch Iliya II of All Georgia, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania, His Holiness Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria, His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania, His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland, His Beatitude Rastislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, and His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada.

The message reads:

“Please accept my respectful congratulations on the bright feast of the Nativity of Christ.

During these holy days when the angels sing: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, and good will to men” (Lk 2:14), we touch upon the mystery of the Divine Incarnation. The Lord “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness” (Phil 2.7). It is in this divine emptying that the path to salvation is revealed to humanity, and you, as the Primate of the Church entrusted to you, like the “good shepherd” (Jn 10:11) lead your flock along this thorny yet gracious path.”

The DECR chairman’s letter of greetings concludes with the wishes of God’s all-powerful aid in the lofty ministry, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, health, salvation and furtherance in all good things.

DECR Communication Service