A Papal Delegation from the Coptic Orthodox Church met with delegates of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow on 21 March 2014.
A delegation representing the Coptic Orthodox Church, comprising Their Graces: Bishop Kyrillos of Milan, Papal Exarch in Europe, Bishop Raphael, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church and Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, met with His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations in Moscow on Friday 21 March 2014.
During the warm and fraternal meeting with His Eminence and staff of the department for external church relations, there was exploration of: the deepening and continuing relationships between the Churches through shared theological understanding and pastoral experience, the establishment of a Coptic Orthodox parish for the ministry and pastoral care of Coptic Orthodox expatriates in the Russian Federation, and preparation for the upcoming visit of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia were also discussed.
Commenting on the meeting, His Grace Bishop Angaelos said:
“Our Churches, both deeply rooted in Orthodox belief and practice, have had a strong and long-standing relationship, both ecumenically and fraternally, and these meetings, along with the upcoming visit of His Holiness Pope Tawadros, stand to further and deepen that relationship. We have had many shared experiences throughout our histories which have led us to safeguarding our Faith in our respective nations despite substantial struggles faced; this commonality and shared experience allows us to have a greater common witness today, and even more powerfully going forward.”
During their visit, the bishops celebrated a Eucharistic Liturgy with members of the Coptic Orthodox community in Moscow.
The delegation was hosted by His Excellency Dr Mahmoud El-Badry, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Russian Federation.