06 June 2013, 10:24
Allotment of govt plane to Patriarch Kirill during visit to China was exception - patriarchal spokesman
Mount Athos, June 6, Interfax - The Russian government allotted a special aircraft for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia during his recent visit to China as an exception, says Protodeacon Alexander Volkov, the head of the patriarchal press service.
"During the holy patriarch's visit to China, the presidential property department allotted a plane for the patriarch's trip as an absolute exception," the protodeacon, who is currently accompanying Patriarch Kirill on his trip to Mount Athos in Greece, told Interfax-Religion.
This was an exceptional situation, considering that the patriarch's visit to China "was of very special significance not only for the Russian Church but also for relations between the two countries."
"All other visits the patriarch pays are always provided for by private airlines and are financed from donations," Fr. Alexander said.
Patriarch Kirill visited China on May 10-15. This was the first visit of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to China in history. In China, the patriarch was received at the state level.
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