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    PATRIARCH ALEXIS II BLESSES ACTIVITIES OF RUSSIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY

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    MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti correspondent Olga Lipich) - The Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Red Cross Society resume close cooperation.

    On Thursday Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II met with chairman of the Moscow municipal organization of the Russian Red Cross Society Nadezhda Dorofeyeva in his working residence.

    The patriarch blessed the activities of this public organization, which "has been serving for Russia's good over 136 years in the times of wars disasters, epidemics, famine and peace." The head of the Russian Orthodox Church presented the Moscow municipal organization of the Russian Red Cross Society with the icon of Our Lady the Healer.

    "From 1917 the spiritual ties between the Russian Red Cross and Orthodox Church have grown weaker under well-known circumstances. The new times give a chance to consolidate spiritual links," Dorofeyeva said.

    According to her, Emperor Alexander II, Metropolitan Isidor of Novgorod, St. Petersburg and Finland, Metropolitan Filaret of Moscow and Kolomna and other hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church were the founders of the Russian Red Cross Society.

    "The main principles of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntariness, unity and universality, do not contradict the Russian Orthodox Church canons," Dorofeyeva stressed.

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