On February 1, 2014, the fifth anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and All Russia, Divine Liturgy was celebrated at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.
His Holiness was joined in the service by His Eminence Metropolitan Yuvenaly of Krutitsa and Kolomensk; His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir of Kishenev and All Moldova; His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander of Astanai and Kazakhstan; His Eminence Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan; His Eminence Metropolitan Varsonofy of Saransk and Mordova, Chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus; His Eminence Metropolitan Ilarion of Volokolamsk, President of the Department of External Church Relations of the MP; His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia;а; His Eminence Metropolitan Antony of Borispol and Brovarsk, Administrator of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church; and a host of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church.
His Holiness was also joined by representatives of other Local Orthodox Churches to the Moscow Patriarchate: His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios of Cyrene of the Alexandrian Orthodox Church; His Eminence Archbishop Niphon of Philippopolis (Antiochian Orthodox Church); His Grace Bishop Antony of Moravic (Serbian Orthodox Church); Archimandrite Stefan (Dispirakis) (Jerusalem Orthodox Church), and Archimandrite Feoktist (Dimitrov) (Bulgarian Orthodox Church).
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church then read a sermon.
Afterwards, Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Federal Region, Mr AD Beglov, then passed on the congratulations from President Vladimir Putin.
"I value the opportunity to conduct friendly, peaceful and pragmatic dialog with the state," replied His Holiness.
"It is specifically thanks to this dialog that the spiritual and moral mission of the Church is realized today in concrete joint projects--education, pastoral work with those who need support, including children, the disabled, sick, imprisoned and in correctional facilities, as well as the military.
"The State and Church preserve a certain internal autonomy from each other, which in legal terms is called the separation of Church and state. But at the same time, Our people and the Church are inseparable," the Patriarch pointed out.
"We respect members of other traditional religions of Russia, with whom we maintain constant relations," continued His Holiness. "Whenever I represent the interests of the Russian Orthodox Church before the government, I never forget about the rights of our brothers and sisters who believe in God, who have good relations with the Russian Orthodox Church, whose ancestors had lived upon this land for thousands of years, who today are citizens of Russia just like Orthodox Christians.
"I have profound faith that the inter-religious peace and the dialog of the Church and state are necessary elements for the success of the path upon which Russia, as a multi-national state, travels, for it encompasses enormous geographical expanses. May the Lord bestow His mercies to our Russian Sovereignty for many years," concluded His Holiness.
Press Service of the Moscow Patriarchate