Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II received on Tuesday, October 18, at Buckingham Palace in London, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill. It is reported TASS with reference to press Secretary of the Patriarch priest of Alexander Volkov.
The meeting was held behind closed doors. It was attended by Chairman of Department for external Church relations Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the Bishop of London of the Anglican Church Richard Chartres.
“The meeting discussed various issues, including Patriarch Kirill told the Queen about the revival of the Church in Russia in the last 20 years, the construction of temples, the development of theological science, to increase the number of dioceses in General – on spiritual growth, which exists now in Russia. You were also talking about the situation of Christianity in Europe”, – said Volkov.
He noted that “the Patriarch is very encouraged by the results of this meeting”. Volkov said that in the beginning of the meeting, the Patriarch congratulated Her Majesty on the 90th anniversarythat was celebrated this year. “In memory of the meeting he presented the icon of the mother of God “Skorosice” in Russian jewellery traditions. In response, the Queen presented him with the portraits: a husband and wife”, he said.
Before the meeting, the wolves reported that the Patriarch plans to discuss with the Queen “issues related to the situation of Christians in the middle East” and “the current state of traditional Christianity in Europe, which, unfortunately, is now experiencing not the best times.” He also noted that the Russian side hopes that “this meeting will bring tangible results and to build relations between our peoples, since the Church and the monarchy are the basis for preservation of traditional values, which, unfortunately, now in the eyes of many people losing their importance”. “This meeting aims to highlight the importance of conservation in today’s world basis for the whole Christian world of values”, – said Volkov.
The Ukrainian Ambassador had insulted the Patriarch and criticized the Queen
The intention of the British Queen to meet with the Patriarch had earlier drawn sharp criticism from the Ukrainian side. The Ambassador of this country in London Natalia galibarenko said that Patriarch Kirill is a “former KGB agent” who supported the “Russian aggression,” wrote the publication Times. Galibarenko also said that “the Patriarch is the mouthpiece of the Kremlin”, and his invitation to London, “risks to legitimize the Russian foreign policy in the eyes of the world”.
The British foreign office said that the meeting is part of the duties of the Queen as the head of the Anglican Church, and called it “justified for the recognition of the common history and relations.”
The Patriarch will meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury
Later on Tuesday, October 18, the Patriarch will also meet separately with the Archbishop of Canterbury in Lambeth Palace. At the meeting with the Archbishop will also present the Bishop of London Chartres, Metropolitan Hilarion and Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh (Ganaba). The Patriarch and the Archbishop will formally exchange words. The meeting will be held at the Lambeth Palace, located on the banks of the Thames with 1190 years it is the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
“As for meeting with Welby, the Anglican Church is a broad enough platform for dialogue. Again, first and foremost, this dialogue is based on the themes of preserving traditional view of Christianity, and the challenges that are now making aggressive secular society facing the Church in Europe, worried about Russian Orthodox Church and the Church of England,” said Volkov.
As told reporters Welby, the meeting with the Patriarch will discuss the “spiritual aspects of the relationship of churches”, as well as the oppression of Christians. “It will be a very important meeting. I think we must admit that we have some difficulties on current events that we are discussing the last few years. And I’m honored to meet his Holiness, this is very important,” he said.
The Hierarch of the Church of England also commented on the prospect of establishing relations between the United Kingdom and Russia. “I am absolutely sure that God has the ability to improve relations between England and Russia. The Nations professing Christians, should commit ourselves in the pursuit of peace and the common good for all people,” he said.
Kirill first visited the UK as Patriarch
The Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill is based in London with a visit on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the Russian Church’s presence in the British Isles. This is the first visit to England Cyril as Patriarch. Before his election to the Patriarchal throne, he repeatedly visited the UK and conducted divine services in the assumption Cathedral.
The first Primate of the Russian Church, visited the United Kingdom, was Alexis I, passes “Interfax”. His visit took place in September 1964 at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey. In 1991, on a visit to the UK was visited by Patriarch Alexy II.
During his current visit Cyril was consecrated after the restoration of the Dormition Cathedral in London and a new tombstone on the grave of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh on Bromptons cemetery. Also, the Patriarch was accepted at the Royal geographical society of great Britain and have a walkabout in London, reports the website of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The Queen of England – head of Church of England
After the division of a Single Christian Church in 1054 the Church in the British Isles were out of fellowship with the Orthodox Church, but kept their ties with the see of Rome for the next 500 years. A turning point in the history of English Christianity was 1534 when king Henry VIII initiated the Church of the reformation.
It was not caused by theological reasons: his divorce from his first wife has not been blessed by the Pope. Then the king declared himself head of the Church and subordinated the Church to the state.
Now the head of the Church of England is also considered to be the king or Queen, and the monarch has the right to elect the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose name is the Synod of the Church of England through the Prime Minister. Anglican bishops are members of the house of lords.