December 24, 2015
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia congratulated the heads of the non-Orthodox Churches on the feast of the Nativity of Christ. Among the addressees are Pope Francis, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chairman of the EKD Council, and heads of other non-Orthodox Churches. The text of the message is given below:
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Lk 2:14). These wondrous words, sang by the host of angels and addressed to the infant Christ born in Bethlehem verily contain the greatest mystery of the Incarnation which took place for the salvation of the world. Over two thousand years separate us from that radiant night. Yet, to this day Christ is being born in the hearts of people, sanctified by grace, comforting them with His love.
I wish you spiritual joy over the Savior Who has come into this world, and His bountiful help in your primatial ministry.
With love in the Lord,
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA
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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, sent Christmas greetings to Pope Francis, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chairman of the EKD Council, and heads of other non-Orthodox Churches. The text of the message is given below:
Today with hope we listen to the words of the greeting of the angels: Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord (Lk. 2:10-11). In our day as iniquity abounds (Mt. 24:12), when there appear with particular force in the world enmity, intolerance and falsehood, it is important to remember that the Savior, Who has come into the world, bestows grace to every human person who opens his heart to God.
Let us then proclaim with all our lives the truth of Christ by affirming it with our own example in service to our brothers and sisters, near and far.
I wish you grace in abundance from the Divine infant who has come into the world, health and God’s aid in your good deeds.
With love in Christ who has been born,
Metropolitan of Volokolamsk
Department for External Church Relations