Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, sent a message to the international conference on “Metropolitan Nicodim: The Way of Church Ministry” held on 15–16 October in Minsk under the presidency of Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus. The Pontifical Council was represented by Reverend Jaromír Zádrapa, official of the Eastern Section, who read Cardinal Koch’s greetings. Cardinal Koch reflected, “I give thanks to the Lord for the opportunity offered by this conference to enable us to draw inspiration once again from a man of God who, united so radically to Christ, was able to demonstrate that the life of service to the Church is always also service to its unity, which has already been accomplished in Christ”.
The conference, marking the 90th anniversary of the birth of Metropolitan Nicodim of Leningrad and Novgorod (1929–1978), was organized by the Orthodox Church of Belarus–Belarusian Exarchate of the Moscow Patriarch, the Saints Methodius and Cyril Centre for Christian Formation, the Executive Committee of the City of Minsk and the Institute of Theology of the State University of Belarus.
Metropolitan Nicodim Rotov of Leningrad and Novogorod, who was also briefly Metropolitan Minsk in 1963, played a significant role in the rapprochement between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church in the 1960s and 70s.