Russland: Head of the Ethiopian Church completes his visit to Russia

On 20 May 2018, the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Orthodox Church His Holiness Patriarch and Catholic Abune Mathias I completed his visit to Russia. The official delegation included Abune Enthons, Archbishop of West Harerge diocese; Abune Philipos, Bishop of South Omo diocese; Abune Aregawi, Bishop of South Gonder diocese; Melake Genet Abba Kidane Mariam, personal assistant to His Holiness the Patriarch; Melake Selam Abba Kiross Weldeab, head of the Media Service; and Musie Hailu, head of the Service of the Patriarchal Protocol.

His Holiness and Catholicos Abune Mathias and his suite were seen off at Vnukovo airport by Metropolitan Valentin (Mischuk); hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), DECR secretary for inter-Christian relations; DECR staff members Sergei Alferov, Konstantin Yermolayev, Ruslan Akhmatkhanov and Vladimir Kuznetsov, and Moscow clergymen. Also seeing off His holiness were H.E. Grum Abay Teshome, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the Russian Federation, and representatives of the Ethiopian diplomatic mission.

The head of the Ethiopian Church met with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on May 17; a communiqué was adopted. During his visit His Holiness Patriarch Abune Mathias I had talks with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the DECR chairman.

Meetings with representatives of the Russian state authorities were also included in the programme of Patriarch Mathis visit. On May 15 he met with Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The current situation in the Middle East and Africa was discussed and an important role of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian Church, which are the biggest Christian communities in the world, played in the upholding the atmosphere of tolerance and accord in international relations today was acknowledged.

The delegation visited the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on May 18 and met with the first deputy speaker N. Fedorov. Plans for further cooperation between Russia and Ethiopia in trade, humanitarian, academic and cultural spheres were discussed.

On May 16 the delegation visited the Laura of the Holy Trinity and St. Sergius and received by Archbishop Feognost of Sergiev Posad, abbot of the monastery and chairman of the Synodal department for monasteries and monastics. Members of the delegation also met with Archbishop Yevgeny of Vereya, rector of the Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary and chairman of the Educational Committee of the Russian Orthodox Church, and visited the Sofrino Art Production factory where they had talks with its general director, Yevgeny Porkhayev.

His Holiness Patriarch Abune Mathis I and his suite visited the Sretensky monastery in Moscow where they were greeted by Metropolitan Tikhon of Pskov and Porkhov and the brethren. Members of the delegation were welcomed in the Novospassky and Donskoy monasteries by their abbots, Bishop Savva of Voskresensk and Bishop Paramon of Bronnitsy.

His Holiness Patriarch Abune Mathias and his suite  were introduced to the work of the Synodal department for charity and social ministry, visited the Martha and Mary community of mercy where they met with Bishop Panteleimon of Orekhovo-Zuevo, chairman of the Department and with hegumeness Elizaveta (Pozdnyakova). Members of the delegation were welcomed by hegumeness Iuliania (Kaleda) and sisters at the Convent of the Conception of St. Anna and by hegumeness Feofania (Miskina) at the Convent of the Intercession.

His Holiness Patriarch Abune Mathias and members of the delegation visited the Moscow Kremlin and the Museum of Russian Icons which exposition includes also 2,500 items of the Ethiopian church art. The founder of the museum, a well-known benefactor Mikhail Abramov, gave a reception in honour of the high guest.

The visit ended with an official dinner at the Embassy of Ethiopia in Moscow given on behalf of the Ambassador. Attending the reception were members of the delegation, representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, members of the Ethiopian diaspora who received the blessing from their Patriarch. (© 1997—2018 The Russian Orthodox Church. Department for External Church Relations, www.mospat.ru, 21. Mai 2018)

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