On Bright Tuesday, April 21, 2009, His Grace Vladyka MERCURIUS, the Administrator of the Moscow Patriarchal Parishes in the United States visited His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP at the Antiochian Archdiocese in Englewood, New Jersey.
The occasion was a farewell visit by Vladyka MERCURIUS before he departs for Moscow to assume his new duties as the Chairman of the Synodal Department for Religious Education and Catechism for the Moscow Patriarchate, and Abbot of St. Peter’s Monastery in Moscow.
Metropolitan PHILIP expressed his warm feelings regarding the good relations which he enjoyed with Vladyka MERCURIUS during his stay in the United States over the past 9 years. The two hierarchs exchanged many ideas on the topic of Orthodox unity in America, and the forthcoming Pan-Orthodox Council which will be held in Cyprus later this year. His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP expressed his wishes that His Holiness Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Russia would exercise a leading role in international Orthodox relations, especially given that His Holiness represents approximately 100 million Orthodox Christians. His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP expressed fond memories of his previous two visits to Russia and asked Vladyka MERCURIUS to express his warmest regards to His Holiness Patriarch KIRILL.