Metropolitan PHILIP visits St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in New York, meets with Representative of the Moscow Patriarc
by Archpriest Thomas Zain
On Tuesday, June 20, 2006, His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP, accompanied by His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN of Miami and the Southeast and Archpriest Thomas Zain, Dean of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral of Brooklyn, visited St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in New York. The invitation to visit was extended by His Grace, Bishop MERCURIUS, the representative of the Moscow Patriarchate in the United States. Bishop MERCURIUS and Father Alexander Abramov, the secretary of the Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA warmly and graciously received the delegation. Father Alexander also served as translator.
During a traditional Russian lunch served by the resident nuns, His Eminence and His Grace discussed many issues related to the current problems facing the Orthodox world in general and the Church in America in particular. Such things included, but were not limited to the recent steps toward reunification with ROCOR, the new wave of Russian immigration to the United States, the problem of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem’s presence in North America and ways of further cooperation on other matters relating to the Orthodox Church in North America. In a toast to His Holiness, Patriarch ALEXY II of Moscow and all Russia, His Eminence recalled the long tradition of cooperation and help between the Patriarchate of Moscow and the Patriarchate of Antioch throughout history. As Metropolitan PHILIP and Bishop MERCURIUS exchanged toasts and gifts, they assured each other of cooperating in the future for the benefit of the of the Orthodox people in America.
After the lunch and meeting, Metropolitan PHILIP, Bishop ANTOUN and Father Thomas were given a tour of the historic Cathedral by Bishop MERCURIUS and Father Alexander. This was the first time Metropolitan PHILIP visited the Cathedral, which had been newly renovated leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Cathedral in 2003. The same iconographers who completed the magnificent Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow also did the renovations at St. Nicholas. St. Tikhon and St. Raphael of Brooklyn originally consecrated the Cathedral in 1903.