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Russia's Response to Constantinople?

Formal church greetings are rarely memorable. The following, a formal greeting from Patriarch Kyrill of the Russian Orthodox Church to Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America, given on March 22nd, six days after  the Chief Secretary of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archimandrite Dr. Elpidophoros Lambriniadis' controversial speech at Holy Cross Seminary, is an exception. The complete text, reprinted from a Moscow Patriarchate website, reads:

"Your Beatitude!

I sincerely welcome your visit to the St. Nicholas Cathedral of the Moscow Patriarchate in the city of New York, this memorable and holy place connected with the life and service of St. Tikhon.

Your first visit as head of the Orthodox Church in America to the Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA and to a parish of the Russian Orthodox Church comes during the week of the Cross, when the Honorable Cross stands before us for reverential worship and adoration. 

May the invincible and inscrutable power of the honorable and life-giving Cross strengthen the love between our Churches and overcome the demons of feeble impertinence." (Emphasis in original.)

Having passed over the course of Great Lent in peace,

I wish you a joyous Pascha.  I await the upcoming visit of Your Beatitude in Moscow.

With love in the Lord,


Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia"



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