Archbishop Demetrios of America with Metropolitan Hilarion
New York – Yesterday, May 5, 2009, Archbishop Demetrios of America,responding to a formal invitation, made an official visit to the Headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), the first such visit of a Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in more than 40 years. The visit was reciprocal in nature, as Archbishop Demetrios had received the new First Hierarch of ROCOR, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, at the Headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in June of 2008, after the enthronement of the latter.
The Archbishop was received by Metropoltian Hilarion and members of the ROCOR Synod in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign. After cordial fraternal exchanges between the Hierarchs and the clergy, there was the chanting of “Christ is Risen” in Slavonic, Greek and English, and Metropolitan Hilarion escorted Archbishop Demetrios to venerate the historic Miracle Working Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. Metropolitan Hilarion addressed Archbishop Demetrios to the Cathedral and ROCOR Headquarters saying, “We welcome the Chief Orthodox Archpastor of America and the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.” An exchange of greetings and gifts followed.
After the veneration of several relics and icons in the Cathedral, Metropolitan Hilarion and Archbishop Demetrios gathered in the Metropolitan’s private quarters for informal discussions. The Archbishop was accompanied in the meeting by His Grace Bishop Savas of Troas; the Very Rev. Archimandrite Sebastian Skordallos, Chief Secretary of the Eparchial Synod; the Rev. Mark Arey, Director for Inter-Orthodox Relations, and Archdeacon Pandeleimon Papadopoulos. Metropolitan Hilarion was accompanied by His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco, His Grace Bishop George of Mayfield, His Grace Bishop Jerome of Manhattan, the Very Rev. Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff, and the Very Rev. Archpriest Seraphim Gan.
At the conclusion of the hour-long meeting, the entire company was joined by other ROCOR Hierarchs who were present for Synod Meetings during these days, and a festive Paschal meal was offered in honor of Archbishop Demetrios. The ROCOR Hierarchs who joined the meal were Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Bishop Gabriel of Montreal, Bishop Peter of Cleveland, and Bishop John of Caracas.
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