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Patriarch Kirill meets with Patriarch Irenaeus of …

Patriarch Kirill meets with Patriarch Irenaeus of Serbia

On November 19, 2016, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with the Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church at the St. Daniel Patriarchal Monastery in Moscow.

His Holiness Patriarch Irenaeus of Serbia was accompanied by Bishop Irenaeus of Bac; Bishop Anthony of Moravici, representative of the Patriarch of Serbia to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia; Archimandrite Isihije (Rogic), and Protodeacon Vladimir Rumenic.

Participating in the meeting from the ROC side were Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations; Bishop Savva of Voskresensk, first deputy chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, DECR vice-chairman; and Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations.

His Holiness warmly welcomed Patriarch Irenaeus, who had come to Moscow for the celebrations devoted to Patriarch Kirill’s 70th birthday, and his delegation. ‘I am delighted at the opportunity to again stand together with you at God’s throne and certainly to talk and exchange opinions. Since our previous meeting, many things have happened; life is going very rapidly and therefore new problems are arising in both the world Orthodoxy and the life of our Churches. Therefore whenever Primates meet, there is an opportunity for a discussion in a fraternal spirit’, he said.

Patriarch Kirill stressed the fraternal nature of the relations between the Russian and Serbian Churches. ‘These are Churches united by their common Slavic identity, culture and language. God grant that the Lord may help us to continue preserving our unity and through this unity promote the unity of Universal Orthodoxy’, he said.

His Holiness Patriarch Irenaeus, on his part, reaffirmed that the Russian and Serbian people are united by Orthodox faith and the blood spilt together for freedom. He expressed his conviction that Patriarch Kirill’s work has a tremendous importance not only for the Russian Church but also for Universal Orthodoxy.

‘Thank you, Your Holiness, for your kind words’, Patriarch Kirill responded, ‘Indeed, there has never been in history any enmity between our peoples but there was common struggle against those who struggled with us. Sometimes this struggle acquired very hard forms and both the Serbian and Russian people had to suffer. Nevertheless, this hard common history but united by profound friendship is alive today too. We celebrate the good relations maintained by Russia and Serbia today in spite of the complicated situations existing in Europe at present’.

In conclusion of the meeting, in which a wide range of issues was discussed, the sides exchanged gifts. Patriarch Kirill was presented with an icon of the Most Holy Mother of God the Milk-Feeder.

Patriarch Kirill conveyed to Patriarch Irenaeus an icon of the New Martyr Maria of Gatchina with a part of her holy relics for the recently opened Monastery of Our Lady of the Three Hands in the Archdiocese of Belgrade. He also presented the high guest with liturgical vestments and a crozier, as well as a copy of his Collected Works in nine volumes. Bishop Irenaeus of Bac and Bishop Anthony of Moravici received Bishop’s croziers and books by Patriarch Kirill. Archimandrite Isihije received a commemorative cross.

DECR Communication Service

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