His Beatitude, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, hosted a luncheon reception here for His Eminence, Metropolitan KIRILL of Smolensk, head of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, on Thursday, November 9, 2000.
The reception was held in conjunction with Metropolitan KIRILL‘s visit to the Patriarchal Parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in the US and Canada and St Nicholas Cathedral in New York, the Patriarchate’s Representation Church.
In his remarks at the reception, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS spoke of the years of cooperation between the OCA and the Moscow Patriarchate and reaffirmed the close bond which has developed between the two autocephalous Churches.
Metropolitan KIRILL thanked Metropolitan THEODOSIUS for his remarks and noted that he cannot imagine the relationship between the OCA and the Moscow Patriarchate being any closer than it is at the present time. He applauded the OCA for its ministry and ongoing labors in North America while expressing thanks for the assistance the OCA has offered the Russian Church since the fall of communism a decade ago.
It was with sadness, however, that Metropolitan KIRILL briefed those gathered for the luncheon on recent developments in the relationship between the Russian Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate in connection with the situation of the Church in Estonia. Metropolitan KIRILL noted that, as a result of the recent visit of His All-Holiness, Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW I of Constantinople, to Estonia, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church had decided in early November to distance itself from events sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate until a resolution to the canonical situation in Estonia is found.
While in New York, Metropolitan KIRILL also visited St Nicholas Cathedral and attended a benefit to raise funds for the restoration of the historic cathedral.
Among the other hierarchs attending the reception were His Eminence, Archbishop PETER of New York; His Eminence, Archbishop HERMAN of Philadelphia; His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN, Auxiliary of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; His Grace, Bishop TIKHON of Archangelsk, Russia; and His Grace, Bishop MERCURIUS, who was recently appointed to oversee the life of the Patriarchal Parishes in the US and Canada.