Taking part in the meeting that took place at the Patriarch’s working residence in Chisty Lane also were the Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for external church relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad; the Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Commission for the dialogue with the ROCOR Archbishop Innokenty of Korsun; and the secretary of the said commission Archpriest Nikolai Balashov.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church was told about the results of the talks between representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate and the ROCOR held earlier in the day.
‘Your Holiness, it was with your blessing that we met at the Department for external church relations today. The meeting was held in a fraternal atmosphere. We have discussed all the details of preparation for the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion and would like to present them to you,’ Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad said.
After the meeting the DECR Chairman said to the journalists: ‘The problems that required coordination have been resolved. We hope that with God’s help on May 17 the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour will see the ceremony of signing the Act of Canonical Communion and the Divine Liturgy celebrated together.’
Metropolitan Kirill remarked that the remaining topical problems concern the status of the ROCOR parishes on the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate and canonical status of the clerics who have been suspended by the Moscow Patriarchate and the ROCOR.
‘The order of resolving the problems before May 17 has been agreed upon,’ Metropolitan Kirill underscored.
On 17 May 2007, the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, the resolutions of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Outside of Russia on affirming the Act of Canonical Communion would be read out followed by a historic moment of signing the document by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York.
After the ceremony the Divine Liturgy would be celebrated together for the first time.