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DECR chairman pays working visit to the Holy Land

DECR chairman pays working visit to the Holy Land
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9 October 2023 year 11:34

On 7th October 2023 the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate the metropolitan of Volokolamsk Anthony, with the blessing of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow ad All Russia Kirill, arrived in the Holy Land on a short working visit. Also participating in the visit was advisor to His Holiness archpriest Nikolai Balashov.

On 8th October at the Patriarchy of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem metropolitan Anthony, accompanied by Father Nikolai, was received by His Beatitude the Most Blessed Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine Theophilos III. Metropolitan Anthony conveyed to His Beatitude greetings and good wishes fr om His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, assuring him of the prayers of His Holiness at a time of serious trials during the armed conflict that has arisen which has caused the deaths of many people on both sides. His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos expressed his warm thanks for these prayers and shared his spiritual thoughts on what these events mean, including for the Christian population of the Middle East, whose protection he views as one of the most important aspects of his ministry.

During the conversation, which took place in an atmosphere of warmth and cordiality, issues of mutual interest were discussed, including the various initiatives and projects of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem. Metropolitan Anthony on behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill presented His Beatitude with a gift of an encolpion containing an image of the Mother of God appearing to Saint Sergius of Radonezh, whose feast day was being celebrated that day in Russia. The Most Blessed Patriarch Theophilos passed on a gift of an icon of the Most Holy Mother of God to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.

Earlier that day metropolitan Anthony, together with the archbishop of Hierapolis Isidore and the bishop of Slobozia and Călăraşi Vincențiu of the Romanian Orthodox Church, celebrated a nighttime Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection. Concelebrating were archpriest Nikolai Balashov, the secretary of the Russian Spiritual Mission in Jerusalem abbot Nikon (Golovko) and pilgrims in holy orders from the diocese of Solikamsk of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as the many clergy of the cathedral. Praying too at the service, which was conducted in Greek, Church Slavonic and Romanian, were the multitude of pilgrims who had gathered from various countries.

The previous evening metropolitan Anthony visited the Russian Spiritual Mission in Jerusalem wh ere he met with the Mission’s head archimandrite Alexander (Yelisov) and its staff.

DECR Communication Service/

Version: Russian, Greek