19 March 2013, 13:28
Pope Francis says has prayed for Patriarch Kirill
Moscow, March 19, Interfax - The delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate headed by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chief of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations (DECR), has arrived in Rome for the inauguration of newly elected Pope Francis.
"The delegation members were accommodated in the St. Martha House, where the newly elected Pope is currently living. A brief meeting with Pope Francis, who warmly welcomed Metropolitan Hilarion, was held in the dining room of the hotel," the press office of the DECR said.
The Metropolitan introduced the members of the delegation "and gave the Pope cordial greetings from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia."
"I prayed especially at the today's service (on March 18) for Patriarch Kirill because today we celebrate the day of Cyril of Jerusalem by our calendar," the Pope said.
The Pope thanked Metropolitan Hilarion for organizing the 2012 exhibition of Russian icons in Buenos Aires, which the future Pope attended.
Metropolitan Platon of Feodosia and Kerch, who has served in Argentina for many years and who personally knows the newly elected Pope, will be among the guests of honor at the inauguration.
It has been reported that the Russian delegation, headed by Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin, included Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theater Valery Gergiev.
The papal enthronement will be held on Tuesday.