MOSCOW: May 25, 2017
A Delegation of the Russian Church Abroad Meets with President Putin
On May 25, 2017, the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia performed the rite of the great consecration of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ and the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Sretensky Stavropighial Monastery in Moscow, and officiated at the celebration of Divine Liturgy that followed.
Attending the services was Russian President Vladimir Putin.
After Liturgy, His Holiness met with bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York.
Addressing Metropolitan Hilarion and the delegation of the Russian Church Abroad, President Putin said:
I wish to express my heartfelt greetings to you and my great gratitude for what you are doing for the Russian people living abroad. But more than that: for your efforts, too, towards the full-fledged reestablishment of unity within the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
This is extraordinarily important for our people, for our nation, and for those countries where you live and work. This is because living spiritual bonds are very important, especially in today’s complicated world, which is filled with contradictions.
Today I spoke of the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church; we can also talk about unity in a broader sense, in a humanitarian sense. Especially since all the world’s religions are based on so-called traditional values which you specifically defend.
I wish to tell you that you are always welcome guests, not even guests, you are hosts here. We are always happy to see you in Russia. Many thanks to you!
In response, Metropolitan Hilarion thanked the President of Russia for his service to the benefit of the Russian people, and gave him a gift of a painted icon of St Jonah of Hankow, telling him about the holy man’s life.