On July 6, the DECR chairman met with His Holiness Bartholomew, Patriarch of Constantinople, at the Fanar residence of Patriarchs of Constantinople. In attendance were Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Archimandrite Bartholomew (Samaras), chief secretary of the Church of Constantinople Holy Synod, Deacon Joachim (Billis), assistant to the Holy Synod secretary, and Deacon Theodore (Shulga), DECR secretariat for inter-Orthodox relations.
Metropolitan Hilarion conveyed to the Primate of the Church of Constantinople a message of greetings and best wishes from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Patriarch Bartholomew, in his turn, conveyed to the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church the wishes of good health and success in his highly demanding work.
During their long talk, the sides discussed a wide range of issues concerning inter-church cooperation in the preparations for a Pan-Orthodox Council planned to take place in 2016, as well as other topics on the agenda of bilateral relations between the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Moscow. Metropolitan Hilarion shared his vision of the situation in the Middle East and a number of other regions of the world. Among the topics was also the preparation for celebrations to mark the millennium of the Russian presence on Holy Mount Athos.
Before the meeting, Metropolitan Hilarion, accompanied by Archimandrite Vissarion (Komzias), venerated the relics of Ss Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom at the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George.
After the meeting, Metropolitan Hilarion departed for Moscow. At the Istanbul airport, he was seen off by Mr. A. Yerkhov, Russian Federation general consul in Istanbul.