STRASBOURG, May 26. /TASS/. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, consecrated the All Saints Church in France’s Strasbourg on Sunday, a TASS correspondent reported.
"Today a historic event is happening for the Orthodox people living in Strasbourg, the first Orthodox church has been consecrated," the patriarch said, voicing confidence that the new church will become another venue for cooperation between Orthodoxy and Catholicism in France.
"We have great respect for the works of Pope Francis and the Catholic episcopate, and we are carefully watching the spiritual order of West Europe. I believe that we should jointly multiply our efforts towards evidence about the Christ. I hope very much that the church will be a house of prayers for Orthodox believers and a place of meeting with the Catholic community, a place of dialogue, which is much needed for Christians living in the conditions of a secularized civilization," the patriarch emphasized.
The ceremony to consecrate the church was also attended by Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries. "This is a significant event, which is part of the city’s policy to respect all confessions. There were no disputes and debates - the citizens of the neighborhood and I welcomed the construction of this beautiful church," he told reporters. After the service, Patriarch Kirill awarded him with the Order of Seraphim of Sarov of the third degree.
The foundation stone for the Church of All Saints in Strasbourg was laid in 2014. In June 2017, the first liturgy was officiated at the cultural and religious center, which accommodated the parish of the All Saints Church until the construction is over. On December 23, 2018, the Lesser Blessing of the church was celebrated by Bishop Nestor of Kherson.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church arrived in France for a visit on Saturday. He is also scheduled to meet with representatives of the Catholic church and the leadership of the Council of Europe.