Patriarch Bartholomew hails dialogue between church and state in Russia

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople hails the Russian leadership's dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church.

"We, as the Mother Church, welcome prospering cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the State. The Russian leadership and the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church are writing a new chapter in history," Patriarch Bartholomew told President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on Tuesday.

Dialogue between the church and state will help Russian society assert itself on the basis of traditional moral values and Christian ideals. "It is the best guarantee of the nation's future," he said.

Patriarch Bartholomew thanked President Medvedev for the invitation to visit the Kremlin. "We are happy to be here in Russia and we are glad that the visit coincides with the Days of Slavic Literature and Culture and with Patriarch Kirill's Name Day. We received Patriarch Kirill with great love and respect at our patriarchate last year," he said.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said in turn that Patriarch Bartholomew's arrival "is of great importance for bilateral relations."

"We, local Orthodox Churches, are part of one Church. There is only one Orthodox Church, but Orthodox believers in each country have their specific problems. Therefore, their leaders must meet more often and exchange their pastoral experience", he said.

"Also, there are common Orthodox problems, which we could not even start considering for decades. Bilateral relations between our Churches, exchanging visits, and good personal relationships between the Patriarchs, will help resolve these problems," Patriarch Kirill said.

"Besides official speeches which convey our positions to the world, we remain in the dialogue of love each day, exchange knowledge and emotions, and most important, pray together and conduct the divine service together. God is with us in that. We believe that God is leading our two Churches and all Orthodox Churches along the path that is in His hands," the Patriarch added.

Source: Interfax religion