Culture is a great way to build serious and deep spiritual closeness between different Christian denominations.
Starting with this fine and profound insight, in recent days the Mixed Group for the coordination of cultural projects between the Holy See and the Moscow Patriarchate met for the first time in Moscow. This is the ripe fruit of an intuition shared by Metropolitan Hilarion and Cardinal Koch, and coordinated jointly by the Department of External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.
The delegation of the Holy See was composed of H.E. Msgr. Carlos Alberto de Pinho Moreira Azevedo, Delegate of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Fr. Hyacinte Destivelle, official of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, and Fr. Andrea Ciucci, representing the Pontifical Council for the Family.
The delegation of the Patriarchate was chaired by Archimandrite Filaret Bulekov, vice-chairman of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and composed of Hieromonk Stefan Igumnov, Secretary for inter-Christian relations, Rev. Alexis Dikarev, collaborator of the Department, in charge of relations with the Catholic Church, Hieromonk Ioann Kopeikin, in charge of the exchange of students, Mr. Vasyl Nesterenko, painter, and Mr. Alexei Puzakov, master of the Synodal Choir.
During the meeting, various cultural initiatives that will be undertaken jointly by the Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow in the course of 2016 were discussed and analyzed: music, painting, the study of a language and culture for delivery were identified as indispensable components for a fruitful and truthful dialogue.
There was also discussion—and not just a little—about the family as well as about the need and the duty to create a serious and profound cultural work, capable of proclaiming the beauty of human love, which manifests the mystery of God.
In the course of the next few months, various initiatives coming from this group will be announced. Moreover, a new meeting has already been scheduled for next year in Rome.