+Kirill: "the new reality in Turkey"
4 July 2009
Patriarch Kirill: "The discussions of the leaders of the Constantinople and the Russian Orthodox Churches took place in a constructive manner"
July 4. Responding to questions from journalists following the talks of the leaders of the Constantinople and the Russian Orthodox Churches, Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, inter alia, said: "Today, we considered all of the agenda of our bilateral relations issues through the prism of those policy decisions that were achieved by all of the Orthodox Church in October of last year".
In October 2008 it was decided to resume the consultative process in preparing for the pan-Orthodox Council.
"The current negotiations also took place in a constructive spirit", - emphasized the Patriarch.
"We spoke today about the new reality in Turkey: During the summer period about two million of our compatriots visited the country, tens of thousands of Russians live in it on a permanent basis, there are a lot of mixed marriages. That is why the question of pastoral care of these people arises.Turkey is the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and we have now, I think, have found a common approach to resolve problems associated with the pastoral care of Russians, the Russian-speaking Orthodox, living in Turkey", - said the leader of the Russian Church.
Saying that the Government of the Republic of Turkey attaches great importance to the growing tourism and pilgrimage from Russia, His Holiness added: "I hope, through tripartite agreements we will be able to create a sufficiently strong canonical system of pastoral care for Orthodox Russians, the Russian-speaking people and those who visit Turkey as Pilgrims and tourists".
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