Metropolitan Kirill greets Obama, hopes for understanding in Russia-U.S. relations

Moscow, January 22, Interfax – Locum Tenens of the Moscow Patriarchal See Metropolitan Kirill has congratulated Barack Obama on his inauguration as U.S. president. “The American people pin hopes for the country’s peaceful and creative development, for overcoming the serious economic crisis and for strengthening the principles of friendship and cooperation in international relations on your future work,” Metropolitan Kirill said in a message of greetings, posted on the website of the Moscow Patriarchate.

“We live in a difficult time of political and economic contradictions and of numerous threats to peace and security,” he said.

“The system of international relations is going through fundamental and fast changes, which deeply affect the interests of all nations and each individual. New challenges and threats of a trans-border nature are emerging. In such conditions, exclusive responsibility for the future of the world is vested on state and public figures,” Metropolitan Kirill said. The Russian Church sees “adherence to inter-cultural and inter-civilization dialogue, and to the moral values in one’s private and in the public and international life” as a way to resolve these problems, he said.

“A significant part of the American people stick to the Russian Orthodox tradition or are part of the Russian Church’s flock. With representatives of other religious communities they contribute worthily to the country’s national development and to strengthening its scientific and cultural ties,” he added. Hopefully, “the new presidential administration will be attentive to their spiritual needs,” Metropolitan Kiril said.

“I do believe that the spirit of trust and mutual understanding will be typical of our relations, and of the United States’ relations with the nations, the Russian Orthodox Church ministers to,” he said.