Moscow, September 16 (Interfax) - The head of the Roman Catholic Church received a gift from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia - a part of the relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov in a shrine made in the form of an easter egg.
Head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk conveyed the gift on Thursday at the Apostolic Palace, in the Vatican, the DECR communication service reports.
Among the focuses of the talk was the tragic situation of the Christian population of the Middle East. Pope Francis and Metropolitan Hilarion pointed to the positive experience of cooperation in giving aid to Christians in the Middle East in pursuance of the decision made at the meeting in Cuba.
"The both sides stressed the need for further consolidated actions in the Middle East. The DECR chairman introduced the Pope to the Russian Church’s initiatives for bringing humanitarian aid to suffering people in Syria and thanked the Pontiff for his peacemaking efforts," the message reads.
The sides noted the fruitful cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church in the field of culture. Thus, in the last year a project for exchanging academic trips by priests and theological students from the Roman Catholic Church and the Moscow Patriarchate to Moscow and Rome respectively has proved to hold much promise as an opportunity for a deeper introduction to the traditions and today’s life of the two Churches.
Metropolitan Hilarion also met with the Vatican State Secretary Pietro Cardinal Parolin. They agreed that it was necessary to continue the peacemaking efforts aimed at overcoming the conflict, in compliance with the Joint Declaration signed in Havana inviting “Churches in Ukraine to work towards social harmony”.
Metropolitan Hilarion has arrived in Italy to the 14th plenary session of the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The session will be held from September 15 to 22 in Chieti.