Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Russian Patriarch Alexey II in the patriarchal chamber of St. Seraphim Sarovsky church in Sarov, Nizhny Novgorod Region yesterday, according to the president's press service.
During their 30-minute visit Alexey II told Putin about how joint efforts built the church. He also thanked Presidential Plenipotentiary in the Volga Federal District Sergey Kirienko and Nizhny Novgorod Region Governor Gennady Khodyrev for their help in the church's construction. Alexey II also thanked Putin for appreciating the labour of Metropolitan Philaret and Bishop Georgy. They prepared six months for the jubilee of the canonization of Seraphim Sarovsky. Alexey II said that high-placed government appreciation always stimulates new labours. Kirienko, representing the jubilee's organization committee, awarded Putin and Alexey II badges with the image of the cell of St. Seraphim Sarovsky.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.