On 5 September 2014, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, began his pilgrimage to Romania with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
Accompanying Metropolitan Hilarion on his visit are archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations, and Mr. Alexander Yershov, assistant to the DECR chairman.
It is about two years since that blessed moment when His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilochios of New Zealand laid the foundation stone of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Saweni, Fiji. With the help of the Good God and the financial support of the friends of the Mission, the procedures for the painting of the church have already started, and soon windows, doors and floor tiles will be fitted in.
The beauty of the church as well as its imposing presence, attract the attention of drivers and passers-by, who are given the chance to see a Greek Orthodox Church for the first time in their lives. On the same land is the orphanage, whose construction has already been completed; now we are making efforts to fit it out with furniture and equipment. When His Eminence comes to Fiji, he will perform the inauguration himself.
However, the voice of the Church today sounds like “one crying out in the wilderness” (John 1:23). Some may even ask, “Why does the Church keep silent, why do we not hear it?” The Church is not silent! But unfortunately, the Church’s voice is being drowned out among the cacophony of other voices calling not for peace, but for war; not for reconciliation, but for escalation of the violence; and not for efforts to save lives, but to continue their senseless and criminal destruction.
During all immersions, the Kazan Mother of God was right by, standing on an ice pedestal.
The Kazan diver expedition set a new world record on the Labynkyr (52.3 meters) and Vorota (59.6 meters) lakes, one of the planet’s most remote places. All this time the expedition was accompanied by the Kazan icon of the Mother of God.
On September 2, 2014, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with the Primate of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Archbishop Kari Mäkinenn of Turku and Finland. The meeting took place at the Patriarchal and Synodal residence at the St. Daniel Monastery, Moscow.
Patriarch Kirill warmly welcomed Archbishop Mäkinenn and his delegation, stressing that the bilateral theological dialogue, which began between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in 1970, was of great importance for both the development of Orthodox-Protestant contacts and the consolidation of friendly relations between the two countries.