On 6 July His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias Kirill received in audience Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing at the patriarchal residence in the Monastery of St.Daniel in Moscow. The two leaders discussed areas of humanitarian and cultural cooperation, as well as expresssing concerns for secularisation and for the discrimination against Christians in some countries.
At the conclusion of the historic encounter, the Grand Master donated to the Russian Orthodox Church a relic of the Holy Cross and the Patriach presented the Grand Master with a precious depiction of the Sacrifice of Christ.
Also at the meeting were the Vice President of the Department of External Affairs, Igumeno Filaret (Bulekov) and the Under Secretary for Liaison with Foreign States, Archpriest Sergij Zvonarev. The Order of Malta was represented by Grand Chancellor Jean-Pierre Mazery, Ambassador Gianfranco Facco Bonetti, the Order’s Representative to the Russian Federation, First Counsellor Nicola Savoretti, and the Counsellor for Religious Relations, Immacolata Solaro del Borgo.