His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon is one of a number of Orthodox hierarchs slated to attend the Inauguration of Pope Francis in Rome on Tuesday, March 19, 2013.
Representatives from most of the Orthodox Churches will be present, including His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
Following the Solemn Mass of Inauguration in Saint Peter’s Basilica on Tuesday morning, Metropolitan Tikhon, who is being accompanied by Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, Secretary of the Orthodox Church in America, will attend a lunch for the delegations hosted by Kurt Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
At their spring session, members of the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops “agreed that the OCA’s delegation would be Metropolitan Tikhon and the Chancellor,” Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor, said. “Unfortunately for me, an unexpected glitch with my passport renewal meant that a quick change had to be made, with Father Eric accompanying His Beatitude. They left late Sunday night and will be met in Rome as official guests of the Vatican.”
On Wednesday morning, March 20, Metropolitan Tikhon and Father Eric will join members of all visiting delegations for an audience with Pope Francis.
This is not the first time an OCA delegation has attended a papal inauguration or similar events. In September 1978, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius and Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann attended the inauguration of Pope John Paul I, who died within the month. In mid-October of the same year, His Eminence, Archbishop Sylvester and Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky attended the inauguration of his successor, Pope John Paul II. Representing the OCA at the funeral of Pope John Paul II in April 2005 were His Grace, then-Bishop Seraphim and then-Priest Alexander Rentel, while His Grace, then-Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania and Archpriest David Brum, at the time Secretary to the Metropolitan, attended the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005.
Additional information and photos will be posted as received.