On June 11, 2022, in the hall of the Supreme Church Council of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with a delegation of the Patriarchal Hospital "Al-Hosn" that arrived from Syria.
Among the participants from the Russian Orthodox Church was Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, as well as Deacon Sergiy Monakhov, an employee of the DECR Secretariat for Inter-Orthodox Relations.
The Syrian delegation includes Director of the Al–Hosn Hospital Khaled Yazidji, manager of the hospital pharmacy Fedaa Zodie, biomedical engineer, Manager of the Department of Operation and Technical Support Yamen Zribi, orthopedic surgeon Kaser Fenyar, general surgeon Mekhail Yusef, plastic surgeon Nedr Massu, neurosurgeon Wael Abed, obstetrician-gynecologist Ibrahim Mutanios, Head of the Operating Department Adnan Assaf, Head of the Intensive Care Unit Issa Nami.
The meeting was also attended by the representative of the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Metropolitan Niphon of Philippopolis.
The event was attended by the Executive Director of the Foundation for the Support of Christian Culture and Heritage E.I. Skopenko.
Addressing the members of the delegation, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill stressed: "We are always glad when representatives of the Patriarchate of Antioch visit us, because special relations have developed in history between our Churches – these are relations of friendship, fraternal mutual assistance, solidarity. And we really appreciate this relationship."
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church stated that his views coincide with His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch on the main items on the agenda of the modern dialogue between the Orthodox Churches. His Holiness also noted that this dialogue is taking place in a very difficult external context, as the difficult political situation in the world leaves an imprint, among other things, on relations between Orthodox Churches and Christian denominations. "I thank God that this does not concern the relations between the Russian Church and the Church of Antioch in any way," Patriarch Kirill stressed, addressing the guests from Syria. – I am in constant contact with your Patriarch, I recently received a fraternal message from him."
During the meeting, it was mentioned how in 2021, in response to the appeal of Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Syrian hospital "Al-Hosn" with the support of the Russian Orthodox Church was transferred modern medical high-tech equipment. "With full understanding of the importance of delivering this equipment to your hospital, we have done everything to implement this program," His Holiness said, in particular.
According to Patriarch Kirill, the existing contacts between hierarchs, clergy, and with the participation of the laity of the two Churches, "are especially important and especially valuable today, because, unfortunately, under unfavorable political influence today we see how relations between Christians of the East and the West are freezing."
He stressed the importance of the comprehensive development of relations between the Antiochian and Russian Orthodox Churches not only at the hierarchical level, but also with the participation of the believing people. In this regard, His Holiness noted that he was glad to see the delegation of the Al-Hosn Hospital in dialogue with Russian Orthodox doctors. As you know, on June 10, during a visit to Russia, Syrian doctors visited St. Alexy's Hospital, the largest medical institution of the Russian Orthodox Church. "For my part, I will do everything possible to promote this dialogue, as well as the further development of relations between the Russian and Antiochian Churches," His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia stated, wishing the doctors God's help in their noble mission.
In turn, the director of the Al-Hosn Hospital, Dr. Khaled Yazidji, thanked Patriarch Kirill for the opportunity to meet and talk. Highly appreciating the efforts made by the Russian Orthodox Church and its Primate to help Christians in Syria, he also expressed gratitude to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
Russian Russian: "The Syrian people have deep feelings for the Russian Church and for the Russian people. We wish the Russian people prosperity and happiness,"– in particular, said H. Yaziji.
Thanking the director of the Al-Hosn Hospital for the kind words, Patriarch Kirill, in particular, said:
"Today we especially appreciate the opportunity to maintain good relations with countries and peoples in a difficult political situation. First of all, I would like to emphasize once again the fact that it is with the Arab people, with the people of Syria, that our country and our people maintain good relations that have been formed for many decades and even centuries. God grant that it will continue to be so."
During the conversation, Dr. Khaled Yazidji also specifically mentioned the great assistance that Russia has provided to Syria in the fight against terrorism.
In continuation of the conversation, Patriarch Kirill expressed his joy at the visit of the delegation to the Al-Hosn Hospital of the Patriarchal Hospital of St. Alexy. According to His Holiness, St. Alexy's Hospital plays an important role, because it provides free assistance to poor people from all regions of Russia.
"When I had the idea to create a church hospital in Moscow, I shared this idea with my colleagues, but, unfortunately, I received a rather restrained reaction," said Patriarch Kirill. "They told me: "Medicine is an expensive business, if you want to have a high–quality hospital, you have to think about good equipment that it's quite expensive." Of course, I thought about it, but then I decided to carry out my plan. We, Russians, have a saying: "the road will be mastered by the one walking." This means that the difficulties of the road can only be overcome when a person walks. And I thank God that we managed to implement this project, which is becoming very important for the Russian Church."
At the end of the meeting, the Primate of the Russian Church wished God's help to the director of the Al-Hosn Hospital, Khaled Yazidji, and the entire delegation. "May God's blessing be upon you, over blessed Syria and over your heroic people," His Holiness said.
In memory of the meeting, Patriarch Kirill presented a gift to Dr. H. Yaziji. Memorable gifts were also presented to other members of the delegation.