Tera Rus- (Delegate of Moscow a& All Russia) OCP News Service – 31/8/18
Constantinople-Moscow: His All Holiness Bartholomew – Patriarch of Constantinople received His Holiness Kirill – Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia at Phanar on 31st August 2018. Patriarch Kirill is on a very important visit to the Church of Constantinople (despite the ongoing Ukrainian canonical crisis). The Russian Primate visited the St. George’s Patriarchal Cathedral at Fanar.
The initial meeting of the two primates took place at the ‘Thronal Hall’ of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The meeting was attended by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, deputy chairman of the DECR-MP, and members of the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Patriarch Kirill stated that there is a difference between the dialogue conducted by politicians the dialogue conducted by the Church. The primate said “In dialogues conducted by politicians, everyone defends the interests of their country, and dialogues within the Orthodox Church has a different nature. We, of course, represent the interests of our Churches, but we always aim at our common welfare, the unity of the Holy Church, its ability to carry out its mission in the modern world.
The dialogue between Local Churches takes place within a single Body – the One Holy Apostolic Church, which imposes us with responsibilities and obligations, but at the same time gives strength and inspiration. That’s why, despite the fact that there were differences in the discussions (at Phanar) and some were quite difficult, I have bright memories with this place, because we never did anything that could damage Universal Orthodoxy, the one Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. We are responsible for the whole Church, for the whole Body of Christ. We are the Primates of the Local Churches”.
In response, the Primate of the Church of Constantinople said:
“We are happy to receive today at the Ecumenical Patriarchate His Beatitude and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia with the Russian Church delegation. Whenever we meet, this is a joy for both of us, as we have the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest. We believe in the power of dialogue. If political leaders use dialogue to solve problems of their countries, then religious leaders should use dialogue to resolve issues, since dialogue is the path that God himself has given us.
We are glad that the visit of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill will coincide with the meeting of the Holy Synod. As you know, our Holy Synod meets every month, and the meeting lasts for three days (from tomorrow until Monday evening). The last time we met for such a (Bishop) Council was three years ago. The work was very successful, and then we decided that we would meet for such a meeting every three years. Tomorrow is the beginning of the new church year. First of September is the beginning of our church year, (this date was established by my blessed predecessor Patriarch Dimitri) and on this day we offer special prayers for the environment. As you know, the Ecumenical Patriarchate held very important and serious conferences on environmental issues. The last such symposium was held in June this year in the Attica region. A similar conference will be held in June, next year in Constantinople. ”
OCP News Service