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Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church meets with …

Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church meets with Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians

On October 12, 2021, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II.

The meeting was attended Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, DECR vice-chairman Archbishop Leonid of Klin, DECR vice-chairman Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov), DECR secretary for inter-Christian relations Hieromonk Stephen (Igumnov), and staff member of the DECR Secretariat of inter-Christian Relations Mr. D. Arakelian.

The high guest was accompanied by Archbishop Ezras Nersisian, head of the Diocese of Russia and Novo-Nakhichevan of the Armenian Apostolic Church; Archbishop Oganisian, head of the department for external relations and protocol; Bishop Vrtanes Abramian, head of the Diocese of Artsakh; Protoarchimandrite Shage Ananian, head of the department for external church relations and rector of the St. Sergius Theological Academy, and Mr. Gevorg Danielian, a member of the Supreme Spiritual Council.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill welcomed the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin II and his delegation.

Dealing with the topic of the bilateral relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church, His Holiness stressed, “The Russian Church and the Armenian Church have enjoyed ages-long relations and, fortunately, there are good relations between Russia and Armenia. To a great extent it is conditioned by good relations between our two Churches”.

His Holiness noted that a majority of Russian citizens consider themselves Orthodox and belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, just as an overwhelming majority of Armenians, both residents of the Republic of Armenia and those who live in diaspora in many countries of the world belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church.

“Churches as closely tied with most people bear a special responsibility for people’s well-being. When I speak about well-being, I mean not so much the material welfare (mostly it is a concern of secular authorities) but the well-being moral, spiritual. I hope your visit will offer us an opportunity to discuss today our bilateral relation, to analyse the latest developments in this sphere and to outline plans for the future so that this meeting could help our Churches further and our peoples could cooperate thus promoting fraternal relations”, said the Primate of the Russian Church addressing his high guest.

On his part, the Supreme Patriarch Karekin II and Catholicos of All Armenians testified that Armenia and Russia are tied by strong bonds of ages-old friendship, which has been invariably manifested in the hardest situations.

“The ages-old friendship between our nations and Churches has been manifested both in joy and grief. We have rejoiced in common achievements and struggled together for the immutable preservation of our friendship and our fellowship. And our meetings with Your Holiness attest to this in the best way. We have always felt the support of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church”, Catholicos Karekin II said.

“Today, as Your Holiness is well aware, hard times are experienced by our people and our country. But we believe that with God’s help and thanks to the support of friendly nations, first of all the Russian Federation, we will be able to overcome this hardship”, said the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

In the course of the talk, they discussed a number of pressing problems including the peace process in Nagorno-Karabakh.After the talk, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill awarded the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II the Russian Orthodox Church’s Order of Glory and Honour, Class I, in acknowledgement of his contribution to the development of friendly relations between the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Moscow Patriarchate and on the occasion of Catholicos Karekin II’s 70th birthday.

The head of the Armenian Apostolic Church thanked Patriarch Kirill for the high award, “We take this award as a sign of respect and love for our people and our Church on the part of His Holiness”, the high guest said in particular.

Having expressed the hope for further preservation of the high level of relations between the two Churches and having stressed the importance of Christian presence in the Caucasus, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill noted, “One of the strongest presences is perhaps ensured through your Church, through your personality. We will help make your service as successful as much as it is possible for the Russian Orthodox Church”.

In conclusion of the talk, the sides exchanged tokens of the meeting.

On October 13, there will be tripartite meetings of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin II and the Chairman of the Muslim Board of the Caucasus Sheikh Allakhshuqur Pashazade on the topic of the Karabakh settlement.

 

DECR Communication Service

Photo: Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

 

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