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    ALEXIS II PRESENTS AWARD TO FRENCH ACADEMY SECRETARY

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 12 -RIA NOVOSTI - Patriarch of all Russia and Moscow Alexis II presented a diploma and honour badge of the international foundation of the unity of Orhodox peoples to French Academy permanent secretary Helene Carrere D'Encausse in his official residence of the St.Daniel Monastery in Moscow, on Friday. Alexis II, who presides over the trustee board of the foundation, referred to Helene Carrere-D'Encausse as an outstanding scholar, public figure and politician of France and all European continent, who by the example of her deeply Orthodox position in life helps imprint the beneficial image of Orthodoxy on the minds of West European nations.

    The patriarch noted that uniting Europe was still putting up with outrages of totalitarian sects while ignoring Christian ethics. Therefore, he said, politicians who command popular respect and pursue Christian views are particularly dear to us.

    Carrere D'Encausse thanked the patriarch for the honour accorded to her. "At this moment I think above all about my parents. I was born and grew up in an East Christian family and has been a thorough student of Orthodox religious classes. I've been dealing with Russian history all my life and know the role of Orthodoxy in it and the role of Christianity in the history of Europe.

    She also mentioned her open dialogue with the Catholics with the purpose of bringing closer the Orthodox and Catholic churches.

    Helene Carrere-D'Encausse, born in Paris in 1929, has occupied political and strategic offices in the European Parliament and its agencies responsible for contacts with bodies of state authority in Russia and the CIS.

    The award-winner has transferred her financial remuneration to a boarding school for handicapped children in Kaluga, 200 kilometres away from Moscow.

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