From 6 to 8 October 2017 the Committee of Representatives of Orthodox Churches to the European Union (CROCEU) held its annual meeting in Moscow (Russian Federation) in the Department of External Church Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow, at the kind invitation of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia. The main topic of this year’s meeting was “The Orthodox Church in Solidarity with the peoples facing extremism and terrorism”.
At the meeting the representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Moscow Patriarchate, the Patriarchate of Romania, the Patriarchate of Bulgaria, the Church of Cyprus and the Church of Greece offered their thoughts on the topic. Officials of the Russian State, the Holy See and members of NGOs made further interventions. Over the past few years we were all struck by the brutal terrorist attacks within Europe and beyond. The CROCEU members prayed for all those innocent victims who were injured or brutally killed. They expressed their particular concern about the persecutions of Christians in the Middle East and the difficult situation of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine. They called for strengthening interreligious dialogue, solidarity, implementation of coherent and integration policies, education of people in religious matters, further cooperation between Church and State. CROCEU is looking forward to promote dialogue on the aforementioned topics with the European Institutions.
On Saturday October 7, the Committee visited a number of venues such as the Saint Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Post-Graduate Studies, the Saint Alexius of Moscow hospital, the Saint Demetrios School of the Sisters of Mercy and the Saint Peter Orthodox Secondary School. CROCEU members had a meeting with the Chairman of the Holy Synod Department for Church Charity and Social Mission H.G. Bishop Panteleimon of Orekhovo-Zuevo.
The program culminated on Sunday, October 8, when the Committee participated in the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Saint Sergius Lavra. At the end of the Divine Liturgy the members of CROCEU met with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia where they had a discussion on various topics.