In a letter dated May 17, 2016, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon offered congratulations to His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow on the 70th Anniversary of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department of External Church Relations [DECR].
The text of Metropolitan Tikhon’s letter appears below.
Letter of Metropolitan Tikhon to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow
on the 70th Anniversary of
the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate
May 17, 2016
His Holiness Kirill
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
22 Danilovsky Val
115191 Moscow, Russia
Your Holiness, Beloved Brother and Concelebrant:
Christ is Risen!
The observance of the 70th Anniversary of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate is an occasion for celebration and reflection.
Celebration because the anniversary marks an entire epoch in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church; a history of survival under an anti-religious state; a history of Orthodox witness in the public arena; rebuilding of parishes, dioceses, monasteries; deepening communication with society in Russia and around the world; deepening communion with the other Orthodox Churches.
Reflection because the mission and experience of the Department of External Relations offers many signs of the truth that the Russian Orthodox Church does not have the luxury of isolating itself from relations with the society and the world, with the other Orthodox Churches, with other Christian communities and other religions.
The Orthodox Church in America remembers with gratitude the contribution of the Department of External Church Relations to the achievement of our autocephaly and the vision of Orthodox mission and unity in America affirmed in the Tomos of Autocephaly.
We join Your Holiness in grateful memory of the Chairmen of the Department—Metropolitans Nicholas, Nikodim, Juvenaly, and Filaret. We are grateful for Your Holiness’ years of service as Chairman. We thank Metropolitan Hilarion for his current service as Chairman. The contribution of talented hierarchs and priests, lay men and lay women to the Department’s labors on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church calls for gratitude to them and thanksgiving to God.
As we rejoice in the Resurrection of Christ and follow the Risen Christ in our ministries we are mindful that to follow Christ is to walk with faith and hope to the future, where God’s truth and God’s love reign.
Asking for Your Holiness’ prayers, I am Your brother and concelebrant,
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada