Rome - On 24 September 2017, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, began his working visit to Rome.

Meeting Metropolitan Hilarion at the airport in Rome were Bishop Matfei of Bogorodsk, administrator of the Moscow Patriarchate’s parishes in Italy; Mr. Alexander Avdeyev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Vatican; and Rev. Hyacinthe Destivelle, a staff member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

On September 25, at the Vatican, the DECR chairman met with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Metropolitan Hilarion congratulated Pope Benedict on his 90th birthday and conveyed to him warm greetings and wishes from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

During the meeting, the DECR chairman told the Pontiff Emeritus about the meeting between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis that took place in Havana on 12 February 2016, as well as about various aspects of cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

In reply to Pope Benedict’s question about the revival of faith in the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion told him about the construction of new churches and monasteries, the establishment of theological faculties in secular universities, and the Church’s publishing and educational activities.

Metropolitan Hilarion presented Pope Benedict XVI with the Russian edition of the Pontiff Emeritus’ book entitled “The Theology of Liturgy,” prepared by the Publishing House of the Moscow Patriarchate in cooperation with the St. Gregory the Theologian Charity Foundation. Pope Emeritus warmly thanked the DECR chairman for the gift and expressed his wish that the Orthodox Christians in Russia might find his book in its Russian translation helpful for the better understanding of the Liturgy.

As a birthday present, Metropolitan Hilarion granted to Pope Benedict XVI six volumes of his book “Jesus Christ. Life and Teaching.”

Taking part in the meeting were also Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the Papal Household; Hieromonk Ioann Kopeykin, vice-rector of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies; and Rev. Hyacinthe Destivelle of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

DECR Communication Service


Teachings of Christ

“Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Therefore let us leave untouched the senseless speculations of the masses and the false doctrines, and turn to the teaching delivered to us in the beginning, let us be temperate and ready for our prayers, persevere in fasting, and fervently implore the All-seeing God not to expose us to temptations, since the Lord has said: 'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.'

St. Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians