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On December 22 at 4.15 P.M. His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Cyril,  wrote a letter to the representative of the Conference of the Polish Catholic Church Episcopate, Józef Michalik, in relation to the the recent blasphemous act against the Icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa.

His Excellency Archbishop Józef Michalik, the Metropolitan Bishop of Przemyśl, the Chairman of the Conference of the Polish Episcopate

Your Reverence!

With pain in my heart have I have learnedabout the blasphemous act done against the Icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa, which resides in Jasna Góra and is sacred for the Polish nation. We thank God, that the Icon itself, which has been cherished for centuries by both Catholic and Orthodox Christians, has not been damaged.

During my recent visit in Your country I accepted with joy the Czestochowa Icon as a precious gift from the Roman Catholic Church in Poland, which reflects the seeking of peace and good neighbourly relations between the Polish and Russian nations, which have always been bound by the faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ and a particular devotion for His Immaculate Mother. Due to this we consider the incident to be not only an act of vandalism against an object of devotion, but also an insult directed at the very tradition of Christianity, as well as the history and culture of both our nations.

Unfortunately recently we have witnessed such acts of blasphemy quite frequently. This is taking place in Russia, and in Poland, and in other countries of Europe and undoubtedly shows a deep spiritual crisis of the modern society. In this situation our Churches can and should give the surrounding world a common testimony on Christian values.

It is my desire to express  sincere support from the Russian Orthodox Church for Your Excellency and the faithful placed under your pastoral care, and wish the spiritual strength and exceptional help from God in Your indefatigable service.

With love in God

+Cyril, The Patriarch of  Moscow and All Russia

[Our own translation without authorization]

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