On 30 January 2019, at the Patriarchal and Synodal residence in St. Daniel’s Monastery in Moscow, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.
Representing the Russian Orthodox Church at the meeting were also Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; Bishop Matthew of Sourozh, acting administrator of the Moscow Patriarchate’s parishes in the USA and Canada; Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR vice-chairman; Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations; and Mr. Dmitry Petrovsky, DECR staff member.
“I am glad that you responded to my invitation and came to Moscow on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Local Council that had elected my humble person to serve our Russian Orthodox Church as Patriarch,” His Holiness said, addressing the high guest. He also greeted members of the delegation accompanying His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada. The delegation includes Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa; Archpriest Alexander Rentel, chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America; Archpriest Daniel Andrejuk, representative of the Orthodox Church in America to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia; Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak, secretary to the Metropolitan of All America and Canada; Ms. Melanie Ringa, treasurer of the Orthodox Church in America; and Subdeacon Roman Ostash, assistant to the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.
Outlining the agenda of the meeting, Patriarch Kirill said, “We will have an opportunity to discuss both the pan-Orthodox matters and our bilateral relations. I would like to emphasize that our bilateral relations have withstood the test of time and nothing has overshadowed them for all these years –since the proclamation of your Church’s autocephaly to this day. Every time our delegations visited the United States they met with you and your representatives, and when hierarchs of your Church come to Moscow we receive them as welcome guests.”
His Holiness mentioned an educational project of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies – the Summer Institute that offers hospitality to representatives of various Churches who want to learn more about the life of the Russian Orthodox Church. Participating in the Summer Institute programme in Moscow last June was a delegation of the OCA clerics and laypeople led by Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa.
Having noted an important role of the Moscow Representation of the Orthodox Church in America and the Russian Orthodox Church’s Representation in New York, Patriarch Kirill pointed out that the year 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the OCA Metochion in Moscow. His Holiness expressed his willingness to endorse a project of restoration of the church of the OCA Moscow Representation by contacting representatives of the Moscow city authorities.
“We have also received your request concerning the canonization of Archpriest Pyotr Postnikov who had served at this church and had been executed at the Butovo shooting range,” His Holiness added, “We will refer this case to the Canonization Commission which will examine the circumstances surrounding the death of Archpriest Pyotr. We will share with you all the information and I hope nothing will prevent us from complying with your request.”
“I am satisfied with the work of our Representation in New York,” Patriarch Kirill also said and noted that Bishop Matthew of Sourozh, the acting representative, had been given a lofty, honourable and important responsibility to maintain and promote brotherly relations between the two Churches.
“It is gratifying to see that the Orthodox Church in America is developing. May it continue – God willing,” His Holiness Patriarch Kirill said.
His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada expressed his joy over an opportunity to take part in the celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the 2009 Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church that elected the 16th Patriarch for the Moscow Throne. “I had a privilege, along with His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco to represent the Orthodox Church in America at those enthronement ceremonies. And it as, therefore, a double joy for me to be here this week,” Metropolitan Tikhon said.
“For the past decade the Russian Orthodox Church has flourished under Your Holiness’s archpastoral guidance, and the fruits of your leadership are evident not only in the Russian lands, but throughout the world,” His Beatitude added.
“Your Holiness’s devotion to Orthodox unity has been clearly demonstrated through many gatherings of Patriarchs and Primates, such as this gathering,” His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon said, emphasizing that the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church has been faithful to traditional Orthodox teachings on contemporary moral and social issues, as well as on the ecclesiastical matters that have acquired particular relevance these days.
The Primate of the Orthodox Church in America noted Patriarch Kirill’s role in supporting monasticism, training the clergy and educating the youth.
“For the Orthodox Church in America Your Holiness’s emphasis on the missionary activity has truly been an icon and expression of the Russian Orthodox Church’s tradition of missionary activity for many centuries,” His Beatitude continued, “The Orthodox Church in America is itself a fruit of the seeds that were planted by St. Herman and the monastic missionaries that arrived in Alaska 225 years ago.” He also mentioned the importance of the ministry of St. Tikhon of Moscow who had been the head of the North American mission and later the Patriarch of the Russian Church.
His Beatitude Tikhon noted that the year 2019 marked the 225th anniversary of the arrival in North America of the Orthodox missionaries from Russia. As His Beatitude pointed out, this jubilee year a group of priests from the Orthodox Church in America will undertake a pilgrimage to Valamo Monastery to establish the connection between Alaska and Valamo.
“In addition, we had a very successful exchange lust summer with the Summer Institute at Ss Cyril and Methodius Institute. Led by His Grace Bishop Daniel, our clergy were able to experience very successfully the internal life of the Russian Orthodox Church. And we also have a number of seminarists who are interested in pursuing more long-term studies here,” the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America added.
His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon thanked His Holiness Patriarch Kirill for the willingness of the Russian Orthodox Church to assist in initiating restoration works at the Moscow Representation of the Orthodox Church in America and to consider the possibility of canonization of Archpriest Pyotr Postnikov.
The participants in the meeting discussed a wide range of issues pertaining to the bilateral cooperation and the situation in the Orthodox world.
DECR Communication Service