2016-12-06 12:17:00

Patriarch Kirill wishes for Russia, France to develop allied relations amid current political challenges

Epinay-sous-Senart, December 6, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia stands in favor of the development of allied relations between Russia and France.

"May God allow the tradition of good, allied relations to develop and help to build a realistic and mutually beneficial stance amid the current political challenges," he said in Epinay-sous-Senart, where the Russian Orthodox seminary is situated.

During his visit to France, which began on December 3, the patriarch met with Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and French President Francois Hollande and had a discussion with the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois. He held an all-night vigil at the Russian Orthodox Church's Three Hierarch Cathedral on Rue Petel in Paris, consecrated the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the territory of the Russian Orthodox Spiritual and Cultural Center, which opened in October on Quai Branly, delivered the first Divine Liturgy in the cathedral, carried out a memorial service at the Russian section of the Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois Cemetery, visited descendants of first-wave immigrants from Russia in a Russian nursing home, met with students of the Russian Orthodox seminary in Epinay-sous-Senart near Paris and prayed at the seminary's Church of St. Genevieve of Paris and St. Martin the Confessor.

"I am very satisfied with the visit. I am also very encouraged by the results of my meetings, conversations," he said.

The patriarch said that the most important thing to have happened is the consecration of the new Cathedral in central Paris.

"God helps to implement the most unbelievable projects and implementation of these projects itself seems a miracle. It is hard to overestimate the fact of the appearance of the Russian cathedral and the Russian Orthodox Spiritual and Cultural Center in central Paris. I have already discovered the significant interest of various representatives of the French public in what can be done and how to develop [it] at the venues of this center for our people to be able to understand each other better and develop mutual affections despite a not very favorable political context," he said.