August 21, 2014

Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk: “The work of the Church is always mission-oriented because mission is a vocation of the Church”


The more I read what is coming out of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), the clearer it becomes that they understand the culture within the Church and outside of it. The ROC will emerge as the world leader of Orthodoxy because it comprehends that the crisis in Western culture, including Russia, is primarily moral and speak to it with clarity. Note this paragraph:

Archbishop Hilarion added that there were nominal Orthodox believers in the world who consider themselves Christians by birth or by belonging to a certain ethnic group, but they do not completely fulfill that what their religion prescribes. The archpastor expressed his regret, saying: “It is a common problem of all the religions: people identify themselves with a certain confession, but they do not shape their lives in accordance with its teaching.” He added: “This means there is such a phenomenon as a lack of serious and thoughtful consideration of the fact that they belong to the Christian Church. They even agree to perform certain religious rites, but as far as real life is concerned, they are not ready to observe the commandments of Christ.”

Compare that with the Constantinopolitan policy of building the Church on ethnic identity instead of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This policy dims moral awareness and leads to a confusion between moral and political authority. That’s why we see errors such as granting religious imprimatur to secular apocalyptic movements like global warming. If the policy continues, Constantinople will not be able to muster the interior strength and depth that is necessary to meet the challenges facing Western civilization.

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25.01.2010 · DECR Chairman

Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk


On 23 January 2010, Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for external church relations, while talking in “The Church and the World” TV programme about the results of the visit of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill to Kazakhstan, dwelled upon the question of a missionary aspect in the work of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The DECR Chairman noted: “the work of the Church is always and everywhere mission-oriented because mission is a vocation of the Church.”

This mission, the archpastor explained, is directed first of all at the members of the Russian Orthodox Church as well as at her potential members, including children, the youth, and other people who, though having been baptized, do not lead a Christian way of life as yet.

Archbishop Hilarion added that there were nominal Orthodox believers in the world who consider themselves Christians by birth or by belonging to a certain ethnic group, but they do not completely fulfill that what their religion prescribes. The archpastor expressed his regret, saying: “It is a common problem of all the religions: people identify themselves with a certain confession, but they do not shape their lives in accordance with its teaching.” He added: “This means there is such a phenomenon as a lack of serious and thoughtful consideration of the fact that they belong to the Christian Church. They even agree to perform certain religious rites, but as far as real life is concerned, they are not ready to observe the commandments of Christ.”

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