Moscow, May 12, 2017
In Washington, DC for the May 10-13 World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians, convened by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), the head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, told TASS on Thursday that His Holiness Patriarch Kirill could visit America sometime in the near future.
“I really think the patriarch’s visit to the US is somewhere on the horizon,” the metropolitan stated, noting that the primate has already visited all of the autocephalous Local Orthodox Churches except for the Orthodox Church in America, currently under the leadership of His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon. Such a trip would be Patriarch Kirill’s first to America, and would be especially noteworthy as it was the Moscow Patriarchate that granted autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in America in 1970.
His predecessor, Patriarch Alexey II, traveled to America in 1991, where he visited St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary in South Canaan, PA, and the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese chancery in Englewood, NJ, among other sites.
“I think this is possible in the coming years,” Met. Hilarion stated, although adding, “We’re not discussing any specific dates yet.” He did note that the issue could be raised in conversation with Met. Tikhon, who is also attending and speaking at the Washington summit. The two hierarchs are to meet and concelebrate this coming weekend at St. Nicholas Church (OCA) in Washington, DC.
For his part, Met. Tikhon said that he would be glad to receive His Holiness Patriarch Kirill in America. “I’m sure we’ll be discussing it in the future,” he stated. The two primates have concelebrated before, when Met. Tikhon was in Moscow for the patriarch’s 70th birthday celebration. Начало формы