Representative of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia meets with Primate of Orthodox Church of Antioch in Damascus
On 5 December 2019, His Beatitude Patriarch John X, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Antioch, met with Hegumen Arseny (Sokolov), representative of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia to the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East at the headquarters of the Antiochian Patriarchate in Damascus.
During a lengthy talk they discussed a wide range of topical issues, including relations between the two fraternal Orthodox Churches. His Beatitude Patriarch John X expressed his gratitude to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and the entire Russian Orthodox Church for continued support of the Orthodox Church of Antioch, aid in the restoration of churches and monasteries destroyed during the war and appreciated progressive development of relations.
As far as the current state of inter-Orthodox relations is concerned, His Beatitude Patriarch John underscored that his position on the actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine has not changed as these actions have no canonical grounds. He believes that the recognition of the so called Orthodox Church in Ukraine by the heads of the Churches of Greece and Alexandria is unwarrantable and deplorable.
Hegumen Arseny told the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Antioch about the life of the Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in Damascus and thanked His Beatitude for his attention to the needs of a small Russian community consisting of several women who could not be evacuated during the war and pray at the Church of St. Ignatius the God-bearer.
His Beatitude invited Hegumen Arseny and the parishioners of the Church of St. Ignatius the God-bearer to attend Christmas and cultural events to be held by the Patriarchate of Antioch in the old part of Damascus.