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  Saturday, May 30, 2020
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Alexy II, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, performed on Sunday a divine service at the main orthodox temple of Moldova where he arrived with a pastoral visit
Alexy II, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, performed on Sunday a divine service at the main orthodox temple of Moldova where he arrived with a pastoral visit. The cathedral was packed to overflowing with pilgrims who had come from all over the republic. People stood in the central park of the capital, watching the service on TV displays. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church was accorded a warm reception in Moldova: top leaders of the country, led by President Vladimir Voronin, welcomed him at the airport. Thousands of citizens hailed the patriarchal motorcade despite a rainy weather. The street, along which Alexy II drove to the temple, was strewn with flowers. Later in the day, the patriarch will visit the Chisinau metropolitanate and a home for orphans in honour of godly Iosif where a capsule will be laid into the foundation of a future church in the name of holy Vera, Nadezhda, Lyubov and their mother Sofya. On Saturday, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church performed an all-night vigil at the Saint Assumption Caprasius Monastery and the nomination of archpriest Pyotr (Mustiace) to the bishop of Nisporensky. This is the first visit by Alexy II to Moldova, a self-ruled orthodox church, uniting people who live on the two banks of the Dniester River and is a canonic part of the multinational Moscow patriarchate. The metropolitanate has 1,110 parishes. In 1992, the Romanian patriarchate established in Moldova a Bessarabian metropolitanate which has around 100 parishes. The Russian Orthodox Church regards its establishment illegal. Voronin said that the head of the Romanian Orthodox Church would not be invited to Moldova. This statement was made after his meeting with Alexy II whom he awarded the highest Moldovan order – the Order of the Republic. Voronin noted that the patriarch’s visit would promote unification of the two countries in the spirit of Christian orthodox values and ideals. According to the president, 90 percent of Moldovan citizens are orthodox Christians, and the state’s leadership and the Moldovan metropolitanate are bound by effective cooperation.
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