President met with Patriarch Alexy and Metropolitan Laurus
- 2004.06.01 MP:
Russian Orthodox Church
President of Russia met with His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and with the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Outside of Russia Metropolitan Laurus
On 27 May 2004 at the Novo-Ogarevo residence the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir V. Putin met with His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and with the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Outside of Russia Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York.
Taking part in the meeting were also Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna and Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church and Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany on behalf of the Russian Church Outside of Russia.
President Vladimir Putin of Russia greeted the guests and expressed his hope for successful completion of the process of conversations between the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church Outside of Russia.
'I am very glad that the process of rapprochement of the two parts of the Russian Orthodoxy is going positively. I shall not talk about the two Churches, as the Russian Church is one in the consciousness of our people. I note with pleasure that after our meeting in New York the clergymen who protect, defend, and propagate Orthodoxy beyond the frontiers of Russia, visited the Russian Federation and saw with their own eyes the spiritual revival of our Fatherland', noted Vladimir Putin.
'Nevertheless, under no circumstances the state intends to intervene in any form into the affairs of the Church, - the President added. We are not going and cannot exert influence on the processes within the Russian Orthodox Churches, but we are prepared to render our utmost assistance to the creation of conditions for the restoration of unity of the Russian Orthodoxy', - he emphasized.
'The process of rapprochement of the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church means more than a solution of the inner ecclesiastical problem. This is a symbol of the revival of Russia and the unity of the Russian people', President Vladimir Putin said.
His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia cordially thanked the Head of the Russian state for handing Metropolitan Laurus the invitation to visit Russia and for an invitation to visit the presidential Novo-Ogarevo residence on the eve of his departure from the country, while calling an official visit of the delegation of the Russian Church Outside of Russia with its First Hierarch at the head an historical event. His Holiness said that this visit was paid officially, rather than incognito, for the first time.
The members of the delegation had an opportunity to get acquainted with the life of the Russian Orthodox Church, to pray together with us at the divine services, to see the Russian Orthodox people who are coming back to their spiritual sources and traditions, - His Holiness the Patriarch said. - The programme of the visit was very busy and rich, as less than in seven days the delegation visited Yekaterinburg, Sarov, Nizhny Novgorod, Diveyevo, St.Petersburg and Kursk.'
His Holiness Patriarch Alexy spoke about a meeting, which was held earlier that day with the official delegation and with the pilgrim's group in St.Daniel's Monastery and noted: 'All participants of the pilgrimage are in bright spirits. The trip has not tired, but rather inspired them. The participants in the trip were astounded and moved by the piety of the people and by the general revival of the spiritual life. How fair is the saying: 'It is better to see once, than hear one hundred times'.
We thank Metropolitan Laurus and the members of the delegation for the spirit of openness, benevolence and mutual understanding in which the visit took place, as well as for the wish to bring our positions closer and find a way for the resolution of contradictions, which appeared as a result of the tragic events of the Revolution of 1917 and the Civil War, when a great number of our compatriots were forced to leave their Motherland, and the Russian Church Outside of Russia took spiritual care for them, - Patriarch Alexy said. - But the love to Russia has always been preserved and passed from generation to generation. I think that the first generation, which was forced to leave the Fatherland, would have been happy to see the present way to the reunion with the Motherland and with the Russian Orthodox Church.
In the documents published on the results of the discussions, we underlined that the Russian Orthodox Church is one, and that only the circumstances divided us, - the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church emphasized. - Let us hope that we were divided only for the time being.
Metropolitan Laurus and Archbishop Mark shared their impressions of the visit and the pilgrimage, during which the members of the delegation venerated the Orthodox holy places, prayed at the relics of the zealots of piety and visited the sites of the exploits of the New Russian Martyrs and Confessors.
'We have got very good impressions. The churches and monasteries are being revived, a lot of the restoration is being done, the divine services are celebrated', - the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Outside of Russia said. - It is not only that the external grandeur is being revived, but a spiritual wealth is being built up.'
His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus thanked President Vladimir V.Putin of Russia and His Holiness Patriarch Alexy for the invitation to visit Russia.
Metropolitan Laurus announced his intention to exert all efforts for the achievement of peace and mutual understanding between the Russian Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate. 'We shall undertake all possible measures to complete this process happily'.
--Archpriest Victor Sokolov, Dean rector@...
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