Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting in New York with the Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The meeting took place in the RF consulate general in N.Y.C.
Mr. Putin attaches much importance to the dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, as it has parishes and churches in all parts of the world - from Europe to New Zealand.
"Russia is returning to the family of civilized nations, for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia as well," the Russian President said. He presented the Church with the icon of the Old Testament Trinity and an album "Moscow Kremlin at the turn of centuries." In response, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York stressed that nothing was more important for the Church than to work for the benefit of the Russian people and Russian culture.
After the meeting that lasted for over two hours, Metropolitan Laurus said he was more than content with its results.
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was founded by the Russian clergy who found themselves outside of Russia after the civil war in the country in 1918-1921. For decades has the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia refused to contact Moscow Orthodox Hierarchs. Metropolitan Laurus, elected two years ago First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, is known to advocate rapprochement and unification of the two Churches.
Mark, Archbishop of Berlin and Germany, Kyrill, Bishop of San Francisco and Western America, and Gabriel, Bishop of Manhattan, took part in the meeting with Mr. Putin as well.