Home page News
Papal Words at Concert of Moscow Patriarchate

Papal Words at Concert of Moscow Patriarchate

VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered Thursday on the occasion of the concert sponsored by the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow in the Holy Father's honor. The event marked the Pontiff's recent birthday and fifth anniversary of his pontificate, and closed the "Days of Russian Culture and Spirituality in the Vatican."

* * *

"Praise the name of the Lord, give praise, O servants of the Lord. Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to his name, for he is great. Thy name, O Lord, endures forever, thy renown, O Lord, throughout the ages. Alleluia."

Venerable Brothers, Illustrious Gentlemen and Ladies, Dear Brothers and Sisters:

We have just heard in a sublime melody the words of Psalm 135, which interpret our sentiments of praise and gratitude to the Lord, as well as our intense interior joy for this moment of meeting and friendship with our beloved brothers of the Patriarchate of Moscow.

On the occasion of my birthday and of the fifth anniversary of my election as Successor of Peter, His Holiness Kirill I, patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, wished to offer me, along with the most appreciated words of his message, this extraordinary musical moment, presented by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, president of the Department for External Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow, and author of the symphony that has just been performed.

Hence, my profound gratitude goes first of all to His Holiness patriarch Kirill. I address to him my fraternal and cordial greeting, hoping profoundly that praise to the Lord and commitment to the progress of peace and harmony between peoples will increasingly unite us and make us grow in harmony of intentions and actions. Hence, my heartfelt thanks to Metropolitan Hilarion, for the greeting he addressed to me, congratulating him for his artistic creativity, which we have been able to appreciate. With him I greet with profound affection the delegation of the Patriarchate of Moscow and the illustrious representatives of the government of the Russian Federation. I address my cordial greeting to the cardinals and bishops here present, in particular Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and to Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, who, with their dicasteries and in close collaboration with the representatives of the patriarchate, organized the "Days of Russian Culture and Spirituality in the Vatican." Moreover, I greet the illustrious ambassadors, the distinguished authorities and all of you, dear friends, brothers and sisters, particularly the Russian communities present in Rome and in Italy, who are participating in this moment of joy and celebration.

Sealed on this occasion in a truly exceptional and thought-provoking way is the music, the music of Russia yesterday and today, which was proposed to us with great mastery by the National Orchestra of Russia, directed by maestro Carlo Ponti, by the Synodal Choir of Moscow, and by the Horn Capella of St. Petersburg. I am profoundly grateful to all the artists for the talent, commitment and passion with which they present to the whole world the masterpieces of the Russian musical tradition.

Present in a profound way in these works, of which today we have heard significant passages, is the soul of the Russian people, and with it the Christian faith, which find an extraordinary expression precisely in the Divine Liturgy and the liturgical singing that always accompanies it. There is, in fact, a profound original bond, between Russian music and liturgical singing: In the liturgy and from the liturgy is unleashed and begins to a great extent the artistic creativity of Russian musicians to create masterpieces that merit being better known in the Western world. Today we have had the joy of hearing passages of great Russian artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. These composers, in particular the latter, have been able to take recourse to the musical-liturgical patrimony of the Russian tradition, elaborating it again and harmonizing it with musical motifs and experiences of the West and closer to modernity. In this line, I believe, should also be situated the work of Metropolitan Hilarion.

In music, therefore, already anticipated and in a certain sense realized is the encounter, the dialogue, the synergy between East and West, as well as between tradition and modernity. The Venerable John Paul II thought in fact of a similar unitarian and harmonious vision of Europe when, in presenting again the image suggested by Vyacheslav Ivanovich Ivanov of the "two lungs" with which Europe must breathe again, he hoped that there would be renewed awareness of the profound and common cultural and religious roots of the European Continent, without which today's Europe would be deprived of a soul and marked by a reductive and partial vision. In fact to reflect these problems better a Symposium was held yesterday, organized by the Patriarchate of Moscow, by the dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity and by that of Culture, on the subject "Orthodox and Catholics in Today's Europe. The Christian Roots and Common Cultural Patrimony of East and West."

As I have stated on several occasions, contemporary culture, particularly European culture, runs the risk of amnesia, of forgetfulness and, therefore, of abandonment of the extraordinary patrimony fostered and inspired by the Christian faith, which constitutes the essential vertebral column of European culture, and not only of European culture. The Christian roots of Europe, in fact, are constituted not only by religious life and the testimony of so many generations of believers, but also by the inestimable cultural and artistic patrimony, pride and precious resource of the peoples and countries in which the Christian faith, in its different manifestations, has dialogued with cultures and art, has animated and inspired them, fostering and promoting as never before the creativity of the human genius.

Today, also, these roots are alive and fecund, in the East and West, and they can, more than that, must inspire a new humanism, a new season of authentic human progress, to respond effectively to the numerous and at times crucial challenges that our Christian communities and our societies must face, beginning with secularization, which not only leads to doing without God and his plan, but which ends by denying human dignity itself, in a society regulated solely by egotistical interests.

Let us make Europe breathe with its two lungs again, let us again give a soul not only to believers but to all peoples of the Continent, let us promote confidence and hope again, rooting them in the age-old experience of the Christian faith! At this moment, the consistent, generous and courageous witness of believers cannot be lacking so that together we can look at our common future, a future in which liberty and the dignity of every man and woman are recognized as a fundamental value and that openness to the Transcendent is valued, the experience of faith as constitutive dimension of the person.

In the passage by Mussorgsky, entitled "The Angel Declared," we have heard the words addressed by the Angel to Mary and, hence, addressed also to us: "Rejoice!" The reason for joy is clear: Christ has resurrected from the sepulcher "and has risen from the dead." Dear brothers and sisters, the joy of the risen Christ animates and encourages us and supports us in our journey of faith and Christian witness to offer authentic joy and solid hope to the world, to offer valid reasons for confidence to humanity, to the peoples of Europe, whom I entrust to the maternal and powerful intercession of the Virgin Mary.

[Speaking in Russian, he said:]

I renew my gratitude to patriarch Kirill, to Metropolitan Hilarion, to the Russian representatives, to the orchestra, to the choirs, to the organizers and to all those present.

[In Italian, he concluded:]

May the Lord's abundant blessings descend on all of you and on your loved ones.

Patriarch Kirill congratulates Metropolitan Porfirije on his election to the Serbian Patriarchal See


Patriarch Kirill presented with Serbian highest national award


Supreme Church Council holds first online session


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Divine Liturgy at Christ the Saviour Cathedral marking 12th anniversary of his enthronement


Congratulations from the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church to Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada on the anniversary of his enthronement


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s condolences over passenger plane crash in the Java Sea


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s condolences over passenger plane crash in the Java Sea


Patriarch Kirill Gives Christmas Interview to Rossia TV


Christmas Message by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia


Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church to take place in November 2021


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs Holy Synod’s last session in 2020


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and Primate of Orthodox Church in America hold telephone conversation


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill congratulates Joseph Biden on his election as President of the United States of America


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s address at the session of the Holy Synod held on 8th December 2020


Holy Synod takes a number of decisions concerning external relations of the Russian Orthodox Church


Metropolitan Hilarion: Church and religious communities are becoming targets for LGBT groups


Metropolitan Hilarion: Patriarch of Constantinople has no flock in Ukraine


Metropolitan Hilarion: Christians in the Middle East need our compassion and prayer


Metropolitan Hilarion: At the heart of dialogue with the Catholic Church is the situation of Christians in the Middle East, culture and charity work.


Metropolitan Hilarion: Western human rights lawyers prefer to remain silent on the seizure of church buildings in Ukraine


Metropolitan Hilarion: Brotherly relations between the Russian and Serbian Churches will remain with the new Serbian Patriarch


Metropolitan Hilarion spoke at an online seminar of the International Hellenic University


"Freedom and Responsibility as Viewed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill". Address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (International Hellenic University online seminar, 16th February 2021)


Representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Holy See discuss cooperation in cultural and social spheres


Christian response to the pandemic challenge discussed at online-conference


Supreme Church Council holds first online session


Online conference «The Church and the Pandemic» will be held on February 12


Metropolitan Hilarion on the Annulment of Anti-Church Provisions in Montenegro’s Laws


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk expressed his condolences on the death of Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak, one of the oldest clerics of the Orthodox Church in America


Metropolitan Hilarion: Restoration of unity in our common Orthodox family is possible only through the denial of false ecclesiology


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


Metropolitan Hilarion: God is willing to give everyone a wonderful gift of faith, but people must be willing to accept it


Metropolitan Hilarion: We should be mindful of the value of human life


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates liturgy at Church of Antioch’s Moscow Representation on its patron saint’s day


Metropolitan Hilarion: For Orthodox Christians Hagia Sophia will always remain a church dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ



Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message