2010-05-31 12:09:00

Patriarch Kirill: Russian and Constantinople Churches are coming closer together

Saint-Petersburg, May 31, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia states that relations between the Russian and Constantinople Churches are moving forward.

"I am happy that every meeting brings us closer together," Patriarch stated on Saturday after the liturgy in St. Isaac's Cathedral in Saint-Petersburg served together with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

He reminded the words of Patriarch Bartholomew during his visit to Russia in 1993 that Patriarch Bartholomew took back with him "only half of [his] heart because the other half [I am] leaving here."

"Hopefully, you leave your entire heart here this time," Patriarch Kirill said addressing Patriarch Bartholomew and concluded his speech exclaiming "Christ is risen!" in Greek.

After the service Patriarch Kirill showed Patriarch Bartholomew around the historical building of the Synod in Senatskaya Square which houses the working residence of Moscow Patriarch since May 2009.

Primates of two Churches arrived to St. Petersburg by boat from the Constantinople Palace in Strelna on Monday morning. The boat was greeted with bell ringing in the Admiralty Embankment next to the "Bronze Horseman" - the monument to Peter the Great - and both Patriarchs joined the priests carrying church banners and followed along the ranks of Baltic sailors to St. Isaac's Cathedral.