Moscow, November 21, Interfax - Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem has received from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia the annual international public award for strengthening the unity among Orthodox peoples.
The ceremony was held at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow on Thursday.
"The global Orthodox family has been under much pressure from external forces," the Russian patriarch said.
"Preserving our church unity is the concern of every one of us, especially the local Orthodox church leaders vested with responsibility for maintaining the purity of the Orthodox faith, for preserving the unity of the Church, strengthening the good relations among Orthodox churches and Orthodox peoples.
"At a difficult time when the elements of this world are trying to destroy the unity of Holy Orthodoxy, the Jerusalem Church, being the mother of all Churches, is becoming particularly important," Patriarch Kirill said.
He noted Theophilos III's "steadfastness and following of the canonical order, pastoral wisdom and reason, which earned him genuine respect and [made him] an authority in the whole Orthodox world."
Theophilos III was elected as the 141st Patriarch of Jerusalem in 2005. Currently the Patriarch of Jerusalem is one of the Moscow Patriarchate's main allies on the Ukrainian issue.