The message reads, in part:
“You dedicated your whole life to promoting high spiritual and moral values. You have made an invaluable contribution to developing relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church and to strengthening ties between Russia and the Vatican.
I have many pleasant recollections of our meetings and our constructive and meaningful talks, which reaffirmed the similarity between the attitudes of Russia and the Holy See to the key international issues. I am confident that by working together we will be able to do a great deal to protect Christians’ rights and interests and to maintain interfaith dialogue.
This year we marked the 200th birth anniversary of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, whose works you are familiar with. Please accept the gift of a sculptural portrait of this great Russian writer and thinker.”
The President of Russia wished Pope Francis good health, wellbeing and success in his noble and responsible mission.