Secretariat to inter-Orthodox relations
The DECR secretariat for inter-Orthodox relations is responsible for the Russian Orthodox Church’s relations with the fullness of Local Orthodoxy.
The main task of the secretariat is to coordinate cooperation with the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches including those of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Georgia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Albania, Polish Orthodox Churches, the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, the Orthodox Church in America, as well as the Autonomous Orthodox Churches and monasteries on Holy Mount Athos.
The agenda of inter-Orthodox cooperation includes such matters as Orthodox unity and the observance of canonical principals in inter-Orthodox cooperation, common witness before the external world and promotion of cooperation among Orthodox nations in all spheres of public life.
A particular area of the secretariat’s work concerns, as far as it appertains to the DECR, the self-governed Churches of the Moscow Patriarchate, namely, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Church of Moldova, the Estonian and Latvian Orthodox Churches.
The secretariat is actively involved in preparing and conducting meetings and conference on various issues of inter-Orthodox relations and problems facing the modern society. Fraternal relations between Local Orthodox Churches are consolidated through traditional exchanges of visits of their primates, trips of church delegations, exchanges of pilgrim groups, participation of church representatives in various pan-Orthodox events, such as Councils, conferences, anniversary celebrations, commemorations of especially venerated saints as well as theological, historical and other conferences and other activities.
The secretariat is also responsible for the Russian Orthodox Church’s relations with Old-Believers’ communities. Among its urgent tasks is to help the communities which for various reasons are in schism with the Church to come back to her fold.
During his visits to the DECR on February 11 and July 1, 2009, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill underlined that the problems in which the secretariat for the far abroad is involved represent a priority in the work of the DECR today.
The leader of the secretariat for the far abroad is Rev. Igor Yakimchuk.