Russian Orthodox archbishop to promote culture, spirituality at Vatican

.- A delegation from the Patriarchate of Moscow will be at the Vatican later this month to promote Russian culture and spirituality. Initiatives during the two day event include meetings, a symposium and a concert for Pope Benedict XVI.

The “Days of Russian Culture and Spirituality in the Vatican” will be held from May 19 – 20.

President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, presented the program at the Holy See on Friday together with a representative from the Patriarchate of Moscow and another representative from his office in charge of Art and Faith. The Patriarchate of Moscow, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Pontifical Council for Culture are all involved in organizing the events.

Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, president of the Department for External Church Affairs of the Patriarchate of Moscow, will lead the Russian delegation to Rome, representing Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

On May 19 he will be meeting with members of the Roman Curia, inaugurating a photo exhibit called “The Russian Orthodox Church Today,” and presenting at the symposium "Orthodox and Catholics in Europe today. The Christian roots and the shared cultural heritage of East and West.”

The following morning at Rome’s Russian Orthodox St. Catherine Martyr church, Archbishop Hilarion will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. Later that afternoon he will host a concert for the Pope featuring the Russian National Orchestra and the Synodal Choir of Moscow.

Following the concert, the Holy Father will give an address to the gathering.

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