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His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent a message of greetings to Pope Francis on the occasion of the anniversary of his election to the chair of Bishops of Rome.

Your Holiness,

Please, accept my sincere greetings with the first anniversary of your election to the chair of Bishops of Rome.

The first year of your pontificate was marked by great expectations and important initiatives in the Roman Catholic Church. The endeavours of Your Holiness to make the presence of the Gospel ideals in the life of modern society more distinct have already yielded good fruits. Your care for the suffering and the destitute reminds people about the duty of brotherly love and about the necessity to show, by good deeds, solidarity with the needy.

Last year, the bilateral relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church saw further development. I am pleased to note the high level of mutual understanding and the desire of both sides to strengthen the Orthodox-Catholic cooperation in order to uphold Christian spiritual and moral values in the modern world, defend the oppressed, and serve the neibours.

I wish Your Holiness spiritual and physical strength, joy and help from the All-Generous God in your lofty ministry.

With love in the Lord,



Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia