Patriarch Kirill Holds Historic Meeting With Heads of Local and International Orthodox Churches

Patriarch Kirill had a meeting today with the heads of the local Orthodox churches. They came to Moscow to take part in the Bishops’ Council.

Our correspondent Nikolay Sokolov followed the conversation, now he's on the air.

- Nikolay, hello. What was discussed at the meeting?

- Hello, Yuri. Today's event is very important both for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and for those who came to the residence in one of the oldest monasteries of Moscow and Russia. The Danilov Monastery didn't stop its work. Not only were relations between different parishes or congregations discussed, but also the situation in the territory of various local churches as well.


The Patriarch of Alexandria came here too. He spoke of the persecution of Christians in Africa. He said that in recent years this process became especially evident in Somalia.

The Patriarch, responsible for the situation in parishes in the Middle East drew the attention of many journalists. The situation in Syria was also discussed. That is, how the restoration of the country’s territorial integrity will take place.

Here's what Patriarch Kirill said: “The suffering and oppression that the Russian Church had to go through made us sensitive to the suffering of our brothers and sisters wherever they are. And your Church today is the subject of persecution and pain. And as we made it through similar trials, like no other, we clearly understand what pain and sorrow you and other Christians in Syria and Iraq feel today.”

May I remind you that Syria was always a special territory for pilgrims, including Russian pilgrims. But the war changed everything. During the war, at least 400 religious objects were destroyed. These objects had a lot to do with Christianity, both Orthodox, and Catholic. And today, the patriarchs agreed upon the fact that it's very important to continue the process of the restoration of sanctuaries. Not only buildings but also objects described in sacred scriptures. There are a lot of these subjects in Syria.

And here's what the Patriarch of Antioch said when he gave a speech at the Danilov Monastery.

John X, Patriarch of Antioch: "I'd like to thank you, Your Holiness, for this special, I'd stress it, special attention paid to us, our delegation during our visit. Your attention, care, and also solidarity. We appreciate, Your Holiness, that our program was drawn up so that we could devote as much time as possible to discuss the vital issues of our Churches. It can be clearly seen in meetings that took place in these latter days in Moscow, including a meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin".

The visit of the patriarchs to Moscow is no coincidence because the Bishops’ Council took place recently. Today Patriarch Kirill had a meeting with the Metropolitan of Warsaw at the Danilov Monastery. They discussed issues concerning not only spiritual growth but also cooperation in the sphere of spiritual development for the youth. It's known that in recent years there was some work in this direction between Russia and Poland but there's a wish to expand it and to make more frequent.

Here's what the Metropolitan of Warsaw said.

Sawa, Metropolitan of Warsaw: "To expand this cooperation between our young people...Because recently it took a break... So annually we have the Eastern Pilgrimage that you once took part in. You were a young bishop then. I have a photo. This year it will take place in May. And we would like to invite a group of young people to this meeting".

There was a lot of invitations today. Probably, the next year for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow will be full of events. He will change his program also in the light of today's wishes from heads and representatives of the local churches of the Russian Orthodox Churches from a dozen foreign countries.

However, today's meeting is just a continuation. Patriarchs from other churches are expected to come here tomorrow. It's also known that guests from America are also coming. As experience shows, despite some political differences between the congregants, the Church still unites people. No matter their religion or race.

- Colleagues?

- Yes, Nikolay. Thank you. It was our correspondent Nikolay Sokolov live online with the studio.