Home page News
Patriarch Kirill receives Italian Prime Minister Mario …

Patriarch Kirill receives Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti


On July 22, 2012, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti at the official Patriarchal and Synodal Residence at the St. Daniel Monastery in Moscow. Mr Monti is on his first official visit to the Russian Federation.


Welcoming Mr Mario Monti and his party, Patriarch Kirill said that the Russian-Italian relations were always characterised by a high degree of confidence and mutual understanding. ‘And a very important ground and reason for this is our common belonging to the system of Christian values on which the legislation and culture of our countries were founded. I think these sources of our culture, social thought and philosophy have formed to a large extent the make-up of both the Russian and the Italian’, His Holiness stressed.


Patriarch Kirill noted that the Russian Orthodox Church fruitfully developed her relations with the Roman Catholic Church in Italy; there were continued exchanges of delegations. Recently the flow of Russian pilgrims to Italy has increased. ‘Visiting common Christian shrines in Italy, Orthodox Russians have an opportunity to come in touch with the spirituality of the Italian people and their religious culture and to have a heartfelt feel of each other. Perhaps, Italy is the second largest pilgrim host after the Holy Land’, the Primate of the Russian Church said.


He also said that the Moscow Patriarchate closely followed the present developments in Europe. Addressing the Italian prime minister, he said, ‘We are concerned for the economic situation which has developed in your country. We hope that you as a renowned economist now the head of the Italian Government will do all that is possible to relieve the situation of your people and to improve the economic situation’.


According to Patriarch Kirill, religious people had their own view of the crisis including the economic one. ‘It is our conviction that along with purely technical reasons which lead to a crisis there are some fundamental causes, and today we are concerned most of all for the spiritual and moral dimension of the crisis’, he said, adding that in the last two years, the Russian Church together with the Cardinal Paul Poupard’s Foundation organized colloquiums in Moscow on the theme ‘Ethics and Business’. ‘I had an opportunity to meet with representatives of Italian financial circles, banks and businesses. I am pleased to note the closeness and even similarity of the positions held on the most important issues including those related to the moral dimension of today’s economic crisis’, His Holiness said.


He also pointed out that there is a great number of expatriates from the countries in the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate, Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians and Moldavians, who reside or live in Italy today, and the Russian Church is engaged in organizing their church life. ‘As of today, there are 55 Orthodox parishes in Italy, which are under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. Our church administrative structure has been recognized and officially registered with the Italian state’, Patriarch Kirill said, expressing hope that the administrative structure of the Russian Church in Italy would occupy an appropriate place among other religious organizations with which the Italian state cooperates. ‘The matter is that there are thousands and thousands of people who are parishioners at our parishes and who need our pastoral care’, His Holiness stressed.


He also stated that in recent years there was a considerable improvement in relations with the Roman Catholic Church, saying, ‘In fact, we hold the same views on many issues, first of all, on pastoral matters relating to the life of the modern man’. In Patriarch Kirill’s view, this area of the bilateral dialogue is the most important one, since the topics under discussion have a direct bearing on people’s life: ‘It does not mean that traditional theological problems we have inherited from the past are of no importance; it means that our attention is directed to pressing problems affecting the life of the modern Christian, both the Orthodox and the Catholic’.


‘Among the topics we consider is the spiritual crisis linked with the erosion of traditional moral values’, Patriarch Kirill said. The Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church together have advocated the Christian position in public space. He recalled that among vivid examples of this cooperation was the case of ‘Lautsi vs. Italy’ concerning the presence of crucifixes in Italian schools. The Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian State took a most active part in the reconsideration of the original decision made by the European Court of Human Rights to ban crucifixes from schools. ‘We are very glad that the Great Chamber of the European Court in Strasbourg dismissed the appeal of Ms Lautsi, which touched on the religious feelings of a great number of people’, Patriarch Kirill said.


In this connection, the head of the Russian Church noted that the Moscow Patriarchate was enthusiastic about the idea of the Italian Ambassador Antonio Zanardi Landi to publish a Russian version of the well-known book by Prof. Carlo Cardia ‘The European Religious and Cultural Identity. The Problem of the Crucifix’. He said, ‘With full respect for people’s rights, for their choice of a worldview, we believe it necessary to defend Christian values when they are discriminated’.


Patriarch Kirill also said that the Russian Orthodox Church was interested in continuing dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, the Italian State and representatives of the business and scientific communities and educators also in the common task to defend the moral principles without which the human civilization becomes very instable and vulnerable.


His Holiness wished Mr. Mario Monti God’s help in his work as prime minister and successful stay in Russia.


The Italian prime minister, in his turn, thanked His Holiness for the opportunity to meet and for the honour accorded. ‘You are the first person I meet in the course of my official visit as prime minister to the Russian Federation. I give a great importance to the meeting with you, aware of the importance of both your person in the Russian Orthodox Church and the very place and status of the Church in Russia’, Mr Mario Monti said. He also expressed the conviction that the contact between the religious leaders of the two countries was very important for the development of bilateral relations.


A fruitful exchange of opinions between the patriarch and the prime minister followed. It concerned the causes of the economic crisis and ways out of the difficult situation in which the European Union countries found themselves.


In conclusion the sides exchanged tokens of the meeting.


DECR Communication Service

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill opens conference on primacy and conciliarity in Orthodoxy


Presentation by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the opening of the ‘World Orthodoxy: Primacy and Conciliarity in the Light of Orthodox Dogmatic Teaching’ conference


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill will open a Conference on the Primacy and Conciliarity in Orthodoxy


Patriarch Kirill leads celebration of Alexander Nevsky’s 800th birthday anniversary in St.Petersburg


Greetings by the Patriarch to the Russian athletes who participated in the 16th Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia awards special representative of the Coptic Patriarchate Dr. Anton Milad


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: the evil forces are tearing apart the unity of the Orthodox Churches


Message of greeting from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill to participants in the festival ‘Russia-Greece. Together through the Centuries’


Patriarchal greetings to Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine with anniversary of his enthronement


Condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the death of Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky


The Primate of the Antiochian Church expresses gratitude to Patriarch Kirill for help in supplying the Lebanon with Covid-19 vaccines


Patriarch wishes Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk happy 55th birthday


Patriarch Kirill greets the participants of the XXVIII annual General Assembly of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy


Patriarch Kirill meets with Islamic religious leaders in Kazan


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs regular session of Russian Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod


Metropolitan Hilarion: Many things in a person's life depend on faith


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Spirit is the main treasure of the Christian soul


Metropolitan Hilarion: Holiness is a constant striving to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ


Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins


Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life


On commemoration day of St. Catherine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk officiated at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr In-the-Fields  the representation of the Orthodox Church in America


Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people


Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates on commemoration day of St. Varlaam of Khutyn at the church of ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: We should remember that the life of each human being is in the hands of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: For God there is nothing impossible


Metropoplitan Hilarion: The cross which was an instrument of dishonourable execution becomes the symbol of salvation for millions of people


Metropolitan Hilarion: Eucharist is the wedding feast, to which Lord Jesus Christ invites each of us


Metropolitan Hilarion: Faith alone is not enough for salvation


Page is available in the following languages

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message
Рус Укр Eng Deu Ελλ Fra Ita Бълг ქარ Срп Rom عرب