Patriarch Kirill meets with Patriarch Daniel of Romania
December 3, 2017 – His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania at the patriarchal residence in the St. Daniel monastery.
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church was accompanied by Metropolitan Nifon of Târgovişte, Archpriest Michael Tiţa, Archpriest Ştefan Ababei, Rev. Eugeniu Rogoti, and Archdeacon Maxim Ţifui.
From the Moscow Patriarchate there were Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR), Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, DECR vice-chairman, Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations, and Archpriest Vladimir Aleksandrov, DECR staff member.
Welcoming the high guest, Patriarch Kirill said, ‘I am delighted at the opportunity to meet with you, Your Beatitude, and your delegation and discuss, among other things, the tasks facing us and the problems arising in our everyday life. Yesterday you had an opportunity to attend the last session of the Bishops’ Council and you heard that it made very important decisions for our Church. I rejoice in the fact that the Council revealed the strong unity of our episcopate in spite of difficult processes taking place in Ukraine and demanding great courage from our episcopate. And this courage was shown because they understand that what they defend is the unity of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church’.
The two patriarchs discussed the religious situation in Ukraine, particularly the problem of healing the schism. ‘I hope that by God’s mercy at some point we will succeed in overcoming all these divisions. And I was glad to hear a testimony that the Ukrainian episcopate wish to overcome these divisions. There is love in their hearts for those who have fallen away, and they are certainly suffering together with all from these divisions’, His Holiness stressed.
Patriarch Kirill expressed gratitude to all the Local Orthodox Church and personally to the Primate of the Romanian Church for their support of the canonical Church in Ukraine and for the high level of bilateral cooperation in many areas.
His Holiness also expressed confidence that the common celebration devoted to the centenary of the restoration of the Patriarchate in the Russian Orthodox Church would contribute to further consolidation of pan-Orthodox interaction, cooperation and unity.
In his turn, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel thanked His Holiness for the opportunity to meet and said he was delighted to participate in the centenary celebrations. ‘We are impressed by the statements made by representatives of Orthodox Churches at the session of the Sacred Bishops’ Council’, His Beatitude said, ‘We thus commemorated the suffering which the Russian Orthodox Church and other Orthodox Churches had endured. We saw a move from crucifixion to resurrection, a Church persecuted to a Church reborn’.
‘The Russian Orthodox Church gives us an example of the impossibility for the Church to be destroyed, for if a Church is crucified it is resurrection that awaits her’, His Beatitude attested, ‘Thus we become bolder for continuing our work because we face many challenges in the contemporary society’.
In October 2017, Patriarch Kirill visited the Romanian Orthodox Church. During their talk, the two primates discussed among other things the problem of secularization of the society and crisis of the family. ‘As we discussed in Bucharest, the main problem for the society today is secularization, which means a change in the mentality and order of human life in the way as if there is no God’, His Beatitude said, ‘I think, at our further pan-Orthodox meetings we should speak of the family and secularisation’.
‘The Bishops’ Council of the Russian Church’, Patriarch Daniel continued, ‘has adopted documents concerning the family and monastic life. The crisis of the family affects the life of monasteries, too. There are two families: the family as a marital union and the pastoral spiritual family in a monastery. The church family is that of all the Orthodox Churches who are in communion with one another’.
His Beatitude Daniel gave a high value to the social work of the Russian Orthodox Church and personally His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. Under their discussion were also issues concerning further cooperation between the two Churches including students exchange and other topics of the bilateral relations. They also dealt with some aspects of pan-Orthodox relationships.
In conclusion, the sides exchanged tokens of the meeting. Patriarch Kirill presented the head of the Romanian Orthodox Church with a commemorative set of pectoral icons, a canvass depicting Russian Patriarchs and a centenary medal ‘In Memory of the Centenary of Patriarchate in the Russian Orthodox Church’.
Metropolitan Nifon was presented with a copy of St. Tikhon’s pectoral icon and a centenary medal. Other members of the Romanian delegation were presented with centenary medals.
His Beatitude Daniel presented the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church with a set of Eucharistic vessels and a photo-album devoted to the visit made by Patriarch Kirill to Romania in October 2017.