Please accept my cordial greetings on the occasion of your 80th birthday, a prominent day in your life that you celebrate today, which is shining with paschal joy of the Risen Christ.
All Christians know and respect you as a consistent defender of Christian values, a talented theologian, and a wise Primate of the Roman Catholic Church.
Your Holiness’ attitude to many vibrant issues of modern times and your vision of the necessity of ‘coming back to the sources’ - all these naturally moves our Churches’ positions closer together and makes proclamation of Christian values bring forth good and beneficial fruit. St. Paul the Apostle said that our speech and our preaching should be ‘not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.’ (1 Corinthians 2.4).
May our Lord give you strong health and abundant spiritual strength that you need so much in your high ministry.
With love in the Risen Christ,
Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Chairman
Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate
April 16, 2007