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His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with the Presi…

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with the President of Pridnestrovje Igor Smirnov

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On 22 April 2010, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met at his working resident in Chisty side street with the President of Pridnestrovje Igor Smirnov.

The head of the state was accompanied was his assistance V. Ivanov, and head of the foreign ministry V. Yasrebchan.

Taking part in the meeting on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church were Bishop Savva of Tiraspol and Dubossary; the Chairman of the Synodal Department for Church-State Relations archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin; and the Deputy Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations archpriest Nikolai Balashov.

President Smirnov greeted the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church and told him about spiritual revival in Pridnestrovje and the construction and restoration of church buildings, noting that there are over one hundred parishes in the republic at present.

The head of the state presented His Holiness with a jubilee medal "65th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic war" and underscored that this award is being conferred in connection of the jubilee of the Great Victory and as a sign of deep respect to the great contribution into the consolidation of civil peace, accord, mutual understanding among people, patriotic, moral and religious education of the young generation, and into the revival and strengthening of Orthodoxy.

His Holiness thanked him for the award and said: "All reminiscences of the war are sacred to our people.

"Our people have lived in the doleful years of war and drained the cup of sorrow to the dregs. However, as it often happens in history, the hardest years turn out the most meaningful for spiritual life of people, for their national self-consciousness and for their ability to follow the way to which God calls them.

"It is hard to describe the events of the Great Patriotic war in words. At present the archives are being opened, and many facts are known that help understand what our people had to live through. In spite of the sorrow and pain of this deep wound, we celebrate the Victory Day as the greatest feast, as our common state would not have existed without this Victory, as well as the majority of the states in post-Soviet space."

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said that our people had won this terrible war having paid with colossal number of victims for the victory and added: "Deo volente, the memory of the Great Patriotic war remains a strongest tie binding people in the post-Soviet space. We say sometimes that in order to feel as brothers and stay together people should have common values. The memory of the war and the honouring of the great exploit of our nation give this tie to us. Deo volente, this memory helps to consolidate relations among countries and nations, which do not depend on one another politically, but are united by common history, including the dramatic history of the Great Patriotic war.

"I would like to wish peace and prosperity to all people living in the territory of the former Soviet Union. Our movement forward is not easy, and, Deo volente, the Divine help will accompany human labours."

His Holiness shares the opinion of the President of Pridnestrovje on the meaning of Orthodoxy in the life of people. He emphasized: "Orthodoxy is very important spiritual tie. We shall do our utmost to strengthen Orthodox values in the life of our people."

Discussed during the talk were the problems of social ministry and educational activities of the Church in Pridnestrovje.

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