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Pope Francis of Rome and hierarchs of th…

Pope Francis of Rome and hierarchs of the Roman Catholic Church congratulate His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on his 75th birthday

On the occasion of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia’s 75th birthday, congratulatory message was sent him by Pope Francis of Rome. Congratulations also came from Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Giovanni d’Anniello, Apostolic Nuncio in the Russian Federation, and Archbishop Paul Pezzi, ordinary of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow. 

«With the greatest joy I write to you on the occasion of your 75th birthday assuring you and all the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church of spiritual closeness and prayers. May the Lord bless you with good health and well-being in your lofty service of the Church. 

Giving thanks to the Lord Pantocrator for our fraternal relations, I pray that the Holy Spirit may strengthen the fruitful cooperation of our Churches. 

May the Russian Orthodox Church under your pastoral omophorion continue growing in faith, love and truth so that the true face of God may be revealed to the world. In our contemporary society with its divisions, antagonisms and consequences of the pandemic, may the mercy of God help us to bear common witness to the friendship and mutual respect and the fellowship of our two Churches, which have reach traditions. 

Dear Brother in Christ, once again expressing my cordial prayerful wishes, I share with you a fraternal embrace of peace and ask you to remember me in your prayers. 

Many years!”

In his congratulatory message to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Cristian Unity, expressing “cordial gratitude and deep respect”, noted, “I ask the Lord to send you His abundant mercies and bless your lofty service, especially in the present time marked with divisions and conflicts, as well as a fear caused by the pandemic and future socio-economic problems”. 

“We are well-aware that we are unable to find the resources necessary to overcome obstacles on our own. It is possible only through the Holy Spirit Who poured out love into our hearts and we were strengthened in our hope (cf. Rom. 5:5) so that we may grow in fellowship. May the Lord send you His abundant gifts of wisdom, inspiration and humbleness for you to continue your zealous pastoral work and service to the cause of Christian unity, so that the fellowship among Christians, first of all between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church, may be ever more strong and deep thus visibly revealing the life of Triune God to the world. Your Holiness, may the Lord grant you good health and wellbeing for many years of the Patriarchal ministry”, Cardinal Kurt Koch wrote. 

In his letter. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia writes, “In the spirit of friendship uniting us for many years now, I would like to send you my sincerest congratulations on your 75th birthday. Our friendship in the last decades has gone through various periods of the history of the world, of our Churches and of inter-Christian relations. It is with joy that I remember our numerous meetings when we, in the open spirt of search, reflected together in face of the challenges of history. I am confident that our fellowship was an important source of power and remains such in our hard time marked with a pandemic, which has severely affected our nations, and with disturbing signals of division and grave painful conflicts. I consider our brotherly friendship a great treasure. It evokes my deep gratitude and the feeling of lively participation with regard to your service and the life of your Church. I will not conceal, Your Holiness, I hope to have an opportunity to strengthen it by a new meeting and continuation of our talks, so full of interest, mutual understanding and joint reflections on the challenges facing Christianity”. 

Archbishop Giovanni d’Aniello, Apostolic Nuncio in the Russian Federation, conveys in his congratulatory message “words of deep respect due to your tireless primatial work aimed to inspire millions of thirsting souls with the word of Christ, to deepen and develop the remarkable traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church. 

“I also would like to note that your whole church path is indissolubly linked with enlivening the inter-Christian dialogue, at the origins of which you stood by God’s Providence. And now, after the historic meeting in Havana, you continue, in the abundance of gifts endowed to you by the Lord, to carry the candle of faith on the common path of love”, the Apostolic Nuncio stressed. 

In his congratulatory message, Archbishop Paul Pezzi wishes His Holiness Kirill that “Chief Pastor Christ, Who has entrusted you with care for His Church, may strengthen you in your service and award you for your work for His glory and may preserve you for many years”. 

DECR Communication Service

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