His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has congratulated the Heads of non-Orthodox Churches on the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. He sent his greetings to the Pope of Rome Benedict XVI; the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II; Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, Head of the Anglican Communion; Archbishop Kari Mäkinen, Primate of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland; Praeses Nikolaus Schneider, President of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany; and the heads of other non-Orthodox Christian Churches. The text is given below.
I wholeheartedly greet you with the great and salutary feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ!
It is with joy that we hear today the words of angelic exaltation: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men” (Lk 2:14), as the ancient promise given to mankind of the seed of a women, which would bring to the world the deliverance from sin, suffering and death, is fulfilled. The birth of the Saviour inspires our hearts with a firm hope of the ultimate victory of good and light over the forces of evil and darkness and calls us to follow the way that our Divine Teacher has shown us.
As St. Ephrem the Syrian said, the Divinity is mingled with human nature in order that this nature could aspire to the holy. Christians should be ‘blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish’ and ‘shine like stars in the world” (Phil 2:15), bearing witness by their words and deeds to the revealed Divine Light. Let us proclaim the good tidings ‘God is with us’ by our life and affirm this truth by our own example of ministry of love to our brothers and sisters, to all who are near and who are far way. May the blessing of God-Infant Jesus be with us all!
I wish you and your flock peace, joy, prosperity and abundant grace of God.
With love in the Lord,
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia