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Metro Athens: “We are ascertaining the presence of a common tradition”

From Metro Athens, 6 July 2009, p. 9: (text originally in Greek, translation mine)

Word of unity from the Phanar

The Patriarch of Moscow and of All Russians Kyrill characterized as the most meaningful event of his visit to the Phanar the concelebration yesterday of a Divine Liturgy with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Church of St. George.

“This peaceful visit is the first of a series of visits to the sister local Orthodox Churches,” said Patriarch Kyrill, and stressed that “the visits will comprise a good beginning for the renewal of the brotherly relations in Christ between two great Orthodox Patriarchates of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Christ.”

One Orthodox Church

The Patriarch of Moscow and of All Russians made a particular reference to the processes which began at the initiative of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in 2008 for dealing with the problems of the Orthodox Churches. “From all our soul we are supporting the call which Your Holiness issued from here last year to the local Orthodox Churches, that we should be conscious of ourselves and function as one Church. This, our interpretation, comprises even our own sincere conviction,” said Patriarch Kyrill, speaking to Patriarch Bartholomew.

“A coordinating organ”

Patriarch Bartholomew on his side reiterated how “the structure of our Church according to Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches in no wa signifies that we comprise Churches and not a Church.

“The Orthodox Church certainly does not employ primacy of power, but also it does not lack a coordinating organ, not compelling but expressing the unanimity of the local churches. This martyr’s Throne humbly exercises the ministry from the ages and sacred tradition in absolute fidelity to the imperatives of Orthodox Ecclesiology,” he added.

Strong ties

Patriarch Kyrill referred in detail to the great ties of the Church of Moscow with Constantinople. “We are ascertaining the presence of a common tradition, which unbreakably connects the Church of Constantinople with her former daughter, today the sister Church, equal in rank, of Russia,” he noted, and added, “Our common tradition comprises the firm foundation of our common witness to the modern world.”

PULL QUOTE NOT IN BODY OF TEXT: Kyrill: “Despite historical cataclysms, the name of Christ continues to be hallowed in this city.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Warm embrace of two hierarchs

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5 Responses to “Metro Athens: “We are ascertaining the presence of a common tradition””


  1. 1 rjhargrav 10 July 2009 at 9:32 am

    Thanks for the translation. I do have a GetReligion question about the article: Patriarch of Moscow and All Russians?

    This unusual interpretation of “Moscow and All Russia” is a telling comment on attitudes towards the relationship between ethnicity and primacy. I wonder whether the hierarchy of Athens and Constantinople follow the Greek press in considering Local Churches to be responsible for races rather than places.

    • 2 Richard Barrett 11 July 2009 at 7:28 am

      Interesting question. I’m not certain; all I can tell you is that πασών των Ρωσιών is pretty unambiguously plural. Now, a quick Google search turns up that the Archbishop of Athens is Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αθηνών και πάσης Ελλάδος, which is “Archbishop of Athens and of all Greece.” I find references to the Patriarch of Moscow using both πασών των Ρωσιών as well as πάσης της Ρωσίας, which would be “of all Russia”.

      Maybe somebody who knows more about this can clarify?

      • 3 rjhargrav 11 July 2009 at 11:23 pm

        Hmm, the Russian title Патриарх Московский и всея Руси translates as Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’ which is not the same thing as all Russia.

        Does Ρωσίας mean Russia, Russian, or both? Is it possible that Ρωσιών could mean Russias?

      • 4 Richard Barrett 12 July 2009 at 8:45 am

        Possible; I will also note that plural “Russians” in the genitive case would normally be rendered “Ρώσων”. When I showed it to my teacher, however (a native speaker), she understood it as “Russians”.

        You got me.

      • 5 rjhargrav 13 July 2009 at 11:11 pm

        Pretty interesting. Here’s the other thing that stands out to me– in the photo, +KIRILL is wearing a flat-topped metropolitan’s klobuk as opposed to the round Patriarchal koukoulion.

        Moscow is the only patriarchate whose primate wears the white koukoulion. So I wonder if it is common practice for patriarchs to wear the klobuk when outside of Russian ecclesial territory, or whether +KIRILL’s deference to Byzantine headgear traditions is something unique.


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