Russian Church statement following meeting of Patriarch Kyrill and Archbishop Justin Welby
On October 18, 2016, His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, met with Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury at the Lambeth Palace in London.
Participating in the meeting from the Russian Orthodox Church were also Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, Archbishop Yelisey of Sourozh, and Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov), DECR vice-chairman. From the side of the Church of England, there was also Bishop Richard Chartres of London.
During the discussion on the bilateral relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Church of England, an agreement was reached on cooperation in the humanitarian sphere.
Patriarch Kirill drew Archbishop Justin Welby’s attention to the Russian Orthodox Church’s concern over the liberalization of the Church of England’s teaching on church order, particularly, the ordination of women as priests and bishops and on the family and morality. His Holiness Kirill expressed hope that the Church of England will oppose challenges of the modern world and seek to preserve the Gospel’s teaching.
The participants in the talk also pointed to the importance of joint efforts for protecting Christians in the Middle East.
Patriarch Kirill and Archbishop Welby stressed the significance of the role played by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Church of England in supporting and strengthening relations between the peoples of Russia and Great Britain.
In conclusion of the meeting the sides exchanges souvenirs.
In recognition of the work to strengthen bilateral relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Church of England, Patriarch Kirill awarded Bishop Richard Chartres of London a high decoration of the Russian Orthodox Church – the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh, Degree II.