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Sunday, 4 March 2007
Ilya II - Head of the Georgian Orthodox Church visiting Russia
Topic: ITAR - TASS

MOSCOW, March 2 (Itar-Tass) -- The consolidation of relations between the Russian and Georgian churches is a guarantee of the preservation of friendship between our two nations, Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, said at a meeting with Ilya II, head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, here on Friday.

The meeting was held in the St. Daniel Monastery. “The consolidation of the pacifying, beneficial impact of the Church, which brings spiritual revival to the people, is the foundation of our hope for the future, for the well-being of Georgia, for accord between its public forces, for unbreakable and eternal friendship between our nations,” said Alexy II. “Our contacts, started many years ago, remain frequent and cordial.”

Alexy II reminded that Ilya II had taken part in the World Religious Summit in Moscow in July 2006. It had been confirmed that time that “we hold similar stands on the problems facing humanity today.”

The Patriarch said as well that “despite all changes in the political situations, all the ups and downs in present-day inter-state relations between Russia and Georgia, traditional close relations between our churches, between all believers, continue to be most friendly and fraternal.”

“We believe in the spiritual force of the peacemaking activities of the Church,” he stressed. Alexy II welcomed the sciences and the cultural personalities who accompany Ilya II in his visit to Moscow. “We praise the contribution made by the Georgian public both in Georgia and in Russia in the preservation of our common cultural heritage, which brings our nations closer together,” Alexy II said.

On Friday night the Georgian delegation, led by Ilya II, will take part in the presentation of the 13th volume of “Orthodox Encyclopaedia”, in which some articles deal with the history of Georgia and the Georgian Orthodox Church.

Russian-Georgian relations are rather complicated today, and in this situation the visit of Ilya II to Moscow could be described as history-making. It is noteworthy that the Georgian delegation, which includes 60 people, came from Tbilisi by a special charter flight. It was the first flight over the past five months, after air traffic between Moscow and Tbilisi was interrupted late in 2006.

Posted by russian-heritage at 3:43 PM EST
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