Greeting of Metropolitan Jonah to Patriarch Kirill
1st February 2009
Greeting of Metropolitan of All America and Canada Jonah to the new Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill
February 1, 2009
His Holiness KIRILL
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
Your Holiness, dear Brother and Concelebrant,
On behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops, the clergy and all of the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America, I greet you with joy and thanksgiving on the occasion of your election as Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
Your Holiness� election brings us great hope for the future of the Russian Church and for the mission of Orthodoxy throughout the world. We stand before a world that cries out for the message of hope that is the Gospel. The fields are indeed white for the harvest. As Patriarch of the Great Church of Russia, Your Holiness is the heir of the saintly missionary Hierarchs Innocent and Tikhon, who were spiritual fathers of the Orthodox Church in America. As Primate of the Church in America I also inherit their mantle. Their example and sacrifice bid us to enter into their labors and remain a constant encouragement in our ministries and struggles.
Your Holiness� election brings us great joy in knowing that the special relationship between the Russian Church and the Orthodox Church in America will continue. The support and encouragement of the Mother Church to her American Daughter is of utmost value to us. As we move toward greater maturity as a Church and assume the full responsibilities of Autocephaly, which your predecessors endowed us with, we will look to Your Holiness as a collaborator in our common mission to establish the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Throughout the difficult years of Godless persecution and following the collapse of Soviet power, the Orthodox Church in America stood as a strong support and friend of the Russian Church. We remain that constant friend and look to working together in addressing the many troubling issues that affect our world. In particular, our friendship may indeed help to overcome the strained relationship between our two countries. The tremendous experience of Your Holiness in international and inter-church affairs will give tremendous insight into the inner workings of the events which we mutually face.
I pray that Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ will bless the new journey on which Your Holiness is embarking. May the Lord who stands by us and gives us �strength to proclaim His message fully� (2 Tim. 4.17) grant you wisdom and patience, so that your ministry as Patriarch might be the light yoke and easy burden of Christ Himself, unto your salvation and that of all your faithful flock.
With brotherly love in the Lord Jesus Christ,
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
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