Fifth study visit of Catholic priests to Russia

2 Sep 2019

The fifth study visit to Russia of young Catholic priests took place from 23 August to 1 September upon the invitation of the Moscow Patriarchate. The delegation comprised twelve Catholic priests from different countries (Italy, France, Argentina, Haiti, United States, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Russia) studying at Roman Pontifical Universities. The visit took place in Moscow, Novgorod and Saint Petersburg, and included a number of meetings with representatives of the Russian Church, as well as attendance at liturgies and visits to departments of the Holy Synod, educational institutes, monasteries, Orthodox holy sites and monuments of the Russian cultural heritage.

On 28 August the delegation attended the patriarchal liturgy in the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Kremlin and later met His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. The delegation, accompanied by Reverends Jaromír Zádrapa and Hyacinthe Destivelle, officials of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, also met Metropolitan Hilarion, President of the Department of External Church Relations, Bishop Dionissij, First Patriarchal Vicar of Moscow, Metropolitan Lev of Novgorod, Bishop Siluan, Rector of the Theological Academy of Saint Petersburg, and a number of priests, monks, religious sisters, seminarians and students of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The initiative, which aims at promoting mutual understanding between the Churches, was launched in 2015 by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Deparment for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate within the ambit of cultural projects between the Holy See and the Russian Orthodox Church. A similar delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate is invited yearly by the Pontifical Council for a study visit to Rome.