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On 12 February 2020, the Joint Working Group for Cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Holy See met at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in Rome.

From the Russian Orthodox Church there were Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR); Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov), DECR vice-chairman; Archpriest Leonid Kalinin, chairman of the Russian Orthodox Church experts council for church art, architecture and restoration; Hieromonk Stephan (Igumnov), DECR secretary for inter-Christian relations: Rev. Alexander Aleshin, deputy head of the synodal department for church charity and social service; Hieromonk Ioann (Kopeikin), executive director of the Poznanie Foundation; Hieromonk Ambrose (Matsegora), executive secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate parishes administration in Italy; Rev. Alexiy Dikarev, DECR; A. Puzakov, artistic director of the Moscow Synodal Choir; P. Baranov, head of the Zaryadie Park museum-exhibition project; and I. A. Nikolayev, an interpreter.

The Holy See was represented by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Bishop Carlos Azevedo, delegate of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Msgr Marcos Pavan, director of the Sistine Chapel Choir; Rev. Andrea Chucci, Pontifical Academy for Life; Rev, Alexander Sapunko, Congregation for Eastern Churches; Rev. Jaromir Zadrapa, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; P. Gumeniuk, Papal Foundation “Aid to the Church in Need”; Ms. N. Govercar, Dicastery for Communications; Ms. G. Gambino, Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life; and G. Paravicini, an interpreter.

The meeting summed up the work of the Joint Working Group for the past period. Metropolitan Hilarion underscored the great importance of broadening the terms of reference of the Joint Working Group by including social problems in it, which will make it possible to broaden considerably the area of cooperation between the two Churches. The group also discussed and outlined for implementation a number of new projects to be carried out in cultural and social spheres in 2020-2021, including projects for humanitarian aid to people in Syria who suffered during the war.

DECR Communication Service