21 November 2016, 10:44
Dodon invites Patriarch Kirill for pastoral visit to Moldova
Chisinau, November 21, Interfax - Moldovan President-elect Igor Dodon congratulated Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on his 70th birthday and invited him for a pastoral visit to Moldova.
"As the Moldovan president-elect, I sincerely congratulate you on your 70th jubilee! Your entire entire life journey proves your love and your faith in God, your devotion to the Christianity. You have become a symbol of unity of the Orthodox Christian world and Christian missionary work on the global scale for the entire world. I would like to express a profound gratitude to you for your support of the Moldovan people and the Orthodox Christian Church in Moldova in the most difficult period, when our statehood and traditional values of our people are threatened," Dodon said in a letter of congratulations.
Dodon also expressed gratitude "for assistance in canonization of our saints of the 19th century, Metropolitan Gavril [Banulescu-Bodoni] and blessed Agafya Kushelovskaya."
"On behalf of the multi-ethnic people of Moldova we invite you to pay a pastoral visit to our country," Dodon said.
"I would like to assure you that the Moldovan people are forever faithful to the Orthodox Church. I wish you good health and success in your pastoral work for the benefit of the Orthodox Church," the letter said.
Former Moldovan president and the Party of Communists leader Vladimir Voronin also congratulated Patriarch Kirill.
"Your life is not only an example of a true faith. Your life is a living proof of how much can be done to maintain, strengthen and develop this faith," he said.
"You have passed all steps on the church ladder, staring with taking the vows and continuing with the ranks of archimandrite, archbishop, metropolitan and the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia," he said.
Voronin recalled that Patriarch Kirill was actively involved in peacemaking actions for Yugoslavia and visited over 80 states, including Moldova several times.
"Congratulating you on your 70th birthday I wish health and prosperity to you and the Russian Orthodox Church and great success in maintaining and developing Christianity. I express words of sincere respect and gratitude to you for your personal contribution to strengthening of spirituality of the Moldovan people," Voronin said.