An online meeting took place on 12 February 2021 of the Joint Working Group for Cultural Projects between the Holy See and the Russian Orthodox Church.
Jointly established in 2015, the Group comprises representatives of different dicasteries and entities of the Holy See and the Moscow Patriarchate under the co–presidency of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity for the Holy See, and the Department for External Church Affairs for the Russian Orthodox Church.
After the greetings of Cardinal Kurt Koch and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the meeting commenced with a reflection on the work undertaken to date, in particular the observation that due to the pandemic it was not possible last year to implement some of the promising projects. In the hope that the health crisis will make it possible, new and interesting initiatives have been proposed for this year in the fields of communication, social service, pastoral care and art.
The Catholic delegation included Archbishop Piotr Tarnawski, Apostolic Nuncio in the Russian Federation, Bishop Carlos Azevedo of the Pontifical Council for Cutlure, Monsignor Marcos Pavan, Director of the Pontifical Sistine Music Chapel, Reverend Andrea Ciucci of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Reverend Flavio Pace, Under-Secretary, of the Congregation for Oriental Churches together with staff members Reverend Oleksandr Sapunko and Dr Gianpaolo Rigotti, Monsignor Bernard Munono, of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, Reverend Jaromír Zádrapa of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Dr Peter Humeniuk of the Pontifical Foundation ‘Aid to the Church in Need’, and Professor Nataša Govekar of the Dicastery for Communication.
The delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church included Hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov),Mr Ivan Nikolaev and Ms Margarita Borisovna Nelyubova of the Department for Esternal Church Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate, Hieromonk Panteleimon (Aleshin) of the Department for Church Charity and Social Service, and Mr A. Puzakov, Director of the Moscow Synodal Choir.