Moscow/ Königsteinim Taunus 21.04.2015 – The head of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), received the Executive President of the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need, Johannes Freiherr Heereman, and a delegation consisting of members of the executive council of the pastoral charity in Moscow on 20 April. In the course of the hour-long meeting Metropolitan Hilarion called Aid to the Church in Need a “dependable partner” which had provided support over the past twenty years, “specifically in such an important area of church life as the training of priests”.
Johannes Freiherr Heereman declared: “In difficult times in particular it is in the interest of all those involved to cultivate the relations which had grown through a collaboration lasting more than twenty years. On this basis we have sought new ways of developing further the theological exchange between the denominations and of promoting continuous theological training. Future projects are intended, as in the past, to serve essentially the intensification of the dialogue between the Orthodox Church in Russia and the Catholic Church.”Other topics dealt with in the hour-long meeting were the challenges which both Churches face in today’s world. These included the common concern about the situation of the family in contemporary society, the problem of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and in North Africa, and the developments in the Islamic world.