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On November 17, 2015, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations (DECR), visited the Embassy of the Republic of France in the Russian Federation.

At the entrance, His Eminence was welcomed by Mr. Nicolas de Lacoste, first counsellor of the embassy.

Metropolitan Hilarion wrote the following entry in the Book of Condolence for the victims of the terror attacks in Paris:

‘On behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, on my own behalf and on behalf of the millions-strong multi-ethnic flock of the Russian Orthodox Church, I extend profound, heartfelt and sincere condolences to all the people of France, all those who have lost their relatives and friends in the terror attacks which have taken away the lives of innocent people.

‘The terrorists are servants of Satan, thought they use religious slogans to cover up their monstrous crimes. There is no and nor there can be any justification of terrorism. We must all unite against terrorism. Russia and France were allies during the last great war and defeated the Brown Plague together. Now we must together oppose the plague of international terrorism for the sake of the future of our nations. May God help us in this!

Eternal memory be to all the innocent victims. And may the Lord give consolation to all those who have lost their loved ones and a speedy recovery to the wounded’.

In a brief talk with the French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, Metropolitan Hilarion expressed deep condolences on behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and on his own behalf.

Then the DECR chairman laid flowers at the embassy in memory of the victims of the tragedy that took place in the evening of November 13, 2015, in Paris.

DECR Communications Service