Patriarch Kirill Visits Greece

(Courtesy of Byzantine, Tx)

( – On 2 June 2013, the fifth Sunday after Pascha, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and His Beatitude Archbishop Hieronymos II of Athens and All Greece celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of St. Panteleimon in Athens.

Concelebrating were ordained members of the Moscow Patriarchate delegation, Metropolitan Prokopios of Philippe, Neapolis and Thasos, Metropolitan Kosmas of Etolia and Akarnania, Metropolitan Pavlos of Sissanion and Siatista; Metropolitan Dionysios of Korinthos; Bishop Prokopios of Christianoupolis; and Bishop Gabriel of Diavlia.

Praying in the sanctuary were Archbishop Damianos of Sinai, Pharan and Raitho, head of the Autonomous Archbishopric of Sinai, and archpastors of the Church of Greece.

The divine service, which gathered many worshippers, was celebrated in the Greek and Church Slavonic languages. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill made some exclamations in the Greek.

The Greek Byzantine Choir of the combined Russian Choir Panagia Sumela sang at the Liturgy.

The Greek ERTI TV-channel made a live broadcast from the church.

After the communion verse Archbishop Hieronymos addressed Patriarch Kirill, saying in particular that unity of the Church is not a given, but is confirmed by experience. Unity is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, a constant deed of church community, and reflection of communion in the Holy Trinity.”

In his address to Archbishop Hieronymos, Patriarch Kirill said, inter alia: “We state that the ordering of life according to the laws of charity and moral purity is always topical. There should be no private interests that could cloud our unity in faith. The main thing for us is our inner burning spirit.”

And also…

( – In the evening of 1 June 2013, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with His Beatitude Archbishop Hieronymos II of Athens and All Greece at the archbishop’s palace.

His Beatitude Hieronymos told his guest about the historical building in which sessions of the Holy Synod take place.

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church mentioned that he was here last time when meeting with Archbishop Christodoulos of the blessed memory and that he visited the archbishop’s palace at the time of Archbishop Seraphim and Archbishop Hieronymos I. “I have many recollections of this place as I accompanied Patriarch Pimen and Patriarch Alexy II,” he added.

Patriarch Kirill wished Archbishop Hieronymos God’s grace and help in guiding the Orthodox Church of Greece at this difficult time.

“They say that there are no easy times. This is true, indeed, as the Church on the earth is a militant church. She knows no tranquillity as she fights for the salvation of human souls, and this fight demands great efforts. We believe that under your guidance and with active involvement of the Holy Synod the Orthodox Church of Greece will cope with the problems you are facing today. I would like to tell you that the Russian Orthodox Church is always with you in prayers and deliberations,” His Holiness said.

Later, the Primates met with the members of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece. Archbishop Hieronymos greeted His Holiness on their behalf.

Patriarch Kirill noted that both Churches are interested in each other’s opinion on many different problems and added: “These fraternal and mutually enriching contacts are explained by the fact that both our Churches as churches of the majority in our countries have played a decisive role in preserving our nations and in shaping their statehood. Historically, they bear a great responsibility, hence our common goals.”

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill left the following entry in the distinguished visitors’ book: “We have begun our peace visit to the fraternal people of Greece with a cordial brotherly talk at the centre of the Orthodox Church of Greece. I wholeheartedly wish peace and prosperity to His Beatitude Archbishop Hieronymos of Athens, members of the Holy Synod and the plenitude of the Church of Greece. We will support each other in bearing our pastoral responsibility for spiritual life of our nations by common work and prayers.”

His Holiness read these words aloud and mentioned that he was ordained on June 1 forty-four years ago. Archbishop Hieronymos and all those present exclaimed Axios!


  1. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Beware of Muscovites bearing Mir!

    I am a Madison, Jefferson, Mason, and Jay man, myself. The Anti-Tsars, as it were.

    I have settled on the Greeks. Outside the power of Islam, politically weak, and outside the power of Russia, also. A good combination, as it is proving itself to me.

  2. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    I have settled on the Greeks.

    Oh my!

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      The Greek church is 1 1/2 miles from my house, I have known many people there for decades, and they have a very fine priest.

      So what would be the problem, exactly?

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        I am now officially a catechumen, having started in the catechism class. Humility will surely be hard for me.

        • ChristineFevronia says

          Brother Tim, my family sends you all the love of our hearts as you embark on this path! May you be blessed with an open heart always, and a deep understanding that God’s Grace is sufficient and that His Love covers a multitude of sins.

          I have a movie recommendation for you as you begin your study as a catechumen. It’s a Russian film called “Ostrov”, meaning “The Island”. It’s a phenomenal film and is available on instant Netflix.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Because “as everybody knows”, Tim, the Greeks are crazy, the Antiochians are worldly, the Americans are irrelevant and the Russians are archaically morose.

        It is possible to work out ones salvation with fear and trembling anywhere in the Church but there is a perception ( which I share) that the GOA has gone rather more after Rome and the praise of worldly rulers than it ought to have.

        We all have problems but it would be wise to check your bishop, not just the local parish. Sooner or later he will have an impact on you. The Antiochian bishop of the West is Archbishop Joseph a seasoned and sober man by all accounts. The GOA bishop. and certainly the OCA bishop, not so much. I know nothing of the ROCOR bishop. (I am Antiochian)

        That being said: may the Holy Spirit guide you, keep you and make your life in the Church fruitful. It is not for us to judge your path only to be faithful to our own. Rejoice in the he Lord always.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Yes, the Greekness of the Greeks used to be a (minor) stumbling block for me. But there is much more on the other side, so to speak.

          My first experience of the Orthodox Church was the Paschal liturgy in 1979 at this church. I have attended Holy Week and Pascha services there many, many times over the years. I know many people there, and these include the man who introduced me to the church so long ago, a law partner of mine and the son of the priest there in the 1950s.

          The church is only 1.5 miles from my house. My present church, of which I have been a member since I was baptised (many decades ago indeed; and it is the only church of which I have ever been a member), is just 6 city blocks away from our home. It is 2 blocks from the Catholic church in which my wife and I were married, also many decades ago. So we are very provincial in our own way, and having the parish truly locally is a very important thing for me.

          As for the Bishop, I saw Met. Gerasimos during a Holy Week service there. However, beyond that I have no acquaintance. I can see the great importance of the bishop, because by chance (?) in 1981, I attended a Saturday service at the little OCA temple in the village of Wilkeson, Wash., and encountered Bp. Basil Radzianko, a profound experience which I have never forgotten.

          And, moreover, the priest at the local church is East Indian by background, the son of Hindu parents, and a splendid man. The people I know there say that his Greek is better than most of theirs!