The Romanian Patriarchate announced on Thursday that Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow has accepted to come to Romania, which would be a premiere. The visit should take place next month, during October 26-28, on St. Dimitrie.
In Moscow, the information hasn’t been confirmed or denied. According to public television TVR correspondent Liviu Iurea, Russian officials are annoyed by the Romanian journalists for having informed as certain the visit of the Russian Patriarch. The difficulty of carrying out this visit is related to the dissensions between the two churches, Romanian and Russian, in regard to the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia.
“Officially, the Russian Patriarchate does not confirm, but does not deny, a possible visit by Patriarch Kirill to Bucharest. I was just told that we will be notified in advance if this visit will take place. However, the dissensions between the Russian and Romanian Orthodox Churches have not been overcome. Moscow does not see as positive the re-establishment of the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia and claims that the Romanian Orthodox Church has entered its canonical area,” the TVR correspondent reported.
In the Republic of Moldova there is an Autonomous Orthodox Church of Bessarabia, represented by the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia, belonging to the structure of the Romanian Orthodox Church. In parallel, there is also the Metropolitan Church of Moldova, which belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church.
“Patriarch Kirill has expressed his willingness to accept the invitation to come to Bucharest along with the other heads of the Orthodox Churches in the former communist countries. They were invited in the context of the Commemorative Year dedicated to the Orthodox defenders during communism and the 10th anniversary of the Patriarchate of His Beatitude Daniel. The visit reportedly will take place on the occasion of the celebration of the Holy Father Dimitrie cel nou, the protector of Bucharest (October 27),” said the Romanian Patriarchate spokesman Vasile Banescu.
Q Magazine informed on Thursday that the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I will arrive in Bucharest next month to pay a three-day visit, on the occasion of Saint Dumitru (Dmitry) celebrations.
Kirill I was elected on January 27, 2009 by the Russian Orthodox Church Local Council (the 2009 Pomestny Sobor) as Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’ and head of the Russian Orthodox Church, by 508 votes out of 700. He was enthroned on February 1, 2009. The Patriarch enters the dignity during a special ceremony of enthronement, which is held a few days after the election.