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His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with Romania’s ambassador to Russia

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with Romania’s ambassador to Russia
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30 November 2021 year 17:45

On November 30, 2021, His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, met with Romania’s Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Russia H. E. Cristian Istrate.

Participating in the meeting from the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate were DECR Vice-Chairman Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov), DECR Secretary for Inter-Orthodox Relations Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk. From the Romanian Embassy in Russia there were Minister-Plenipotentiary Mr. Ninel Gavanescu and Deputy Head of the Mission Mr. Cosmin Constantin Ionita.

The ambassador thanked His Holiness for the opportunity to have a conversation with the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

He said that the meeting is held on the day when St. Andrew the First-Called is honoured in Romania as the venerated heavenly patron of the country. “It is a very solemn day for us, a national day”. The ambassador stressed. 

Mr Cristian Istrate stated that for the Romanian people, faith is a very important aspect of life and the Romanian Church enjoyed the population’s respect and attention.

Noting that recently he had an opportunity to meet and talk with the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church, the diplomat conveyed sincere congratulations and best wishes from His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on the occasion of the his 75th birthday.

Mr. Istrate spoke about the beginning of his service as head of the Romania’s diplomatic representation in the Russian Federation, making a special mention of his visits to various cities and their churches “in order to feel the spirituality of those places”.

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church congratulated Mr. Cristian Istrate on his appointment as ambassador to Russia, noting that the Moscow Patriarchate traditionally has good relations with the Romanian diplomatic mission in Moscow. In particular, the Russian Orthodox Church helped the Romanian embassy to carry out its work to look after the burial places of Romanian war prisoners of the time of World War II.

They touched the topic of the continued coronavirus pandemic, including its impact on the life of the Church. Answering a question of the Mr. Istrate, Patriarch Kirill said, “Now the pandemic has restricted opportunities for contacts. Of course, this concerns not only the Church but also many state institutions, because it is necessary to observe strictly the conditions dictated by the pandemic and apply the appropriate security means. As His Holiness noted, even during the gravest pandemic moments, worship services continued to be celebrated in churches of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“Our nations are united by a common faith, a similar culture and traditions”, His Holiness said, “This factor certainly should influence the relations between Romania and Russia as states, and the secular authorities should seriously take into account the fact that we are two fraternal Orthodox nations”.

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church pointed to his good personal relationships with His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania, saying, “We have known each other for a very long time, for long decades, from the time when we were very young people and participated in various ecumenical and inter-Orthodox events. And in most cases we were absolutely unanimous”, His Holiness said, “In former times when Europe was divided into two camps we represented the so-called socialist countries and had almost the same experience of life in the situation when there were restrictions in religious life. Therefore, we understood each other very well and also supported each other as speakers at international forums”.

His Holiness also recalled with warmth his visit to Bucharest in 2017 for the festivities organized by the Romanian Orthodox Church on the occasion of the Day of Defenders of Orthodoxy, who struggled for the Church in the times of the theomachist regime. “That same year we hosted His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel in Moscow on the occasion of the Centennial of the Restoration of Patriarchate in the Russian Orthodox Church”, His Holiness recalled.

Patriarch Kirill also commended the contacts between Romanian hierarchs and archpastors of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is in unity with the Moscow Patriarchate.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic situation dictates certain restrictions, including for Romanian pilgrims to visit the Russian Federation and Ukraine”, he said, “We hope that these restrictions will be lifted in the foreseeable future, and we will restore the contacts fully. We appreciate the good relations with the Romanian Orthodox Church”.

DECR Communication Service/

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