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Archbishop's greeting to His Holiness Kyrill on his enthronement as Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

Sunday 1st February 2009

The Archbishop has today sent the following letter of greeting to His Holiness Kyrill, on his day of enthronement as Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia:

"It was with the greatest joy that we heard the news of Your Holiness's election to be supreme pastor of the great Church of Moscow and All Russia.

Your experience as a teacher and defender of the Orthodox Faith, and as a deeply respected and loved representative of the Russian Church in ecumenical contexts, will have been, in God's Providence, a fitting preparation for this high dignity.  Your many friends abroad are confident that you will fill it with immense distinction, and that you will build upon the great work of consolidation and extension first directed by your lamented predecessor, His Holiness Aleksii II of blessed memory, who so helped the Church to become once again a living force in Russian society.

Like all high office in Christ's Church, this will be at times a lonely and challenging calling.  It will be important for you to know that many outside the boundaries of the Orthodox Church, as well as within, will be upholding you in prayer, and doing so with affection and admiration.

When opportunity allows, it would be a privilege to welcome you here in Britain — as my predecessor welcomed yours — as a valued guest and friend in Christ. 

There are many difficulties between our churches, yet the work accomplished in the Anglican-Orthodox Doctrinal Commission, on which I had the pleasure of serving for many years, suggests that we are able to engage in the most fruitful theological exchange.  It is my dearest wish that this should continue, with your own support and blessing.

Meanwhile, I repeat my assurance of prayers, of support and thanksgiving.  It is a sorrow to me that I am unable to attend your enthronement, as I shall be in Alexandria convening a meeting of Anglican Primates.  But through my representatives I send every good and fraternal wish to you, in the firm hope of shortly being able once again to meet, and to congratulate Your Holiness in person."

+ Rowan Cantuar:

A further greeting - from the Anglican Primates' Meeting in Alexandria - can be found here:

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