April 16, 2014

Russian Metropolitan Blasts Anglican Communion’s Sexual Innovations

Hilarion praises Global South stand on marriage. Absence of heresy deplored.Our Church must sever its relations with those churches and communities that trample on the principles of Christian ethics and traditional morals. Here we uphold a firm stand based on Holy Scripture.By David W. Virtue www.virtueonline.org Sept. 13, 2010In a groundbreaking address at Lambeth Palace before the Nicean Club that included the Archbishop of Canterbury, Russian Metropolitan Hilarion blasted those parts of the Anglican Communion experimenting with sexual innovations saying they threatened continuing dialogue with the Orthodox Church.In surprise remarks that observers say embarrassed Dr. Williams, Hilarion ripped Western Anglican liberals who have deviated from heterosexual marriage calling it "an abyss that divides traditional Christians from Christians of liberal trend." … [Read more...]

The DECR Chairman: “We vigorously oppose atheism perceived as a ‘common denominator’ of all religions”

We vigorously oppose atheism perceived as a ‘common denominator’ of all religions, as secular politicians sometimes try to present it, saying, ‘There are differences among religions; therefore, let us proceed from atheistic prerequisites so that no religion feels offended.’ This position is absolutely false and unacceptable to us. We state that traditional religions have much more in common rather than different in the sphere of morality...” 13.01.2010 · DECR Chairman, The Far Abroad On 12 January 2010, Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk met with journalists at the Moscow Patriarchate Department for external church relations. While answering their questions, he told them that the Russian Orthodox Church intended to continue dialogue with different European institutions, including the European Union and the Council of Europe, “on the problems linked to the moral and spiritual human life.” “We shall try to attain the decision-making, in legislation in particular, that … [Read more...]

Archbishop Hilarion’s interview with Der Spiegel

Source: Moscow Patriarchate Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, answered questions from Der Spiegel magazine. Below is the text of the talk His Eminence Hilarion had with the magazine’s correspondents. The interview was published in Der Spiegel’s issue No. 51, 2009. (This transcript is the source of the Interfax article -- please see preceding post -- on comments regarding a Moscow-Rome meeting. --Ed.). Der Spiegel: How would you explain the difference between the Orthodox, the Catholic and the Protestant Churches? Archbishop Hilarion: The Orthodox and the Catholic Churches have only some differences in theology and models of church order. Thus, we do not recognize the supreme authority of the Pope of Rome over other Churches. However, the differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism are not fundamental. We recognize the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. If a Catholic priest moves over to … [Read more...]

Moscow thanks Pope for not pressing on meeting

From Interfax (2009-12-16): Moscow -- The Moscow Patriarchate is grateful to Pope Benedict XVI for understanding problems between the two Churches and not pressing on with visiting Russia and meeting with the Patriarch. "Pope Benedict XVI perfectly understands the existing difficulties and therefore is not pressing on his meeting with the Patriarch, not to mention visiting Russia, as was done under his predecessor. We are grateful to him for this," the head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk said in an interview published in Der Spiegel, whose Russian translation the Department for External Church Relations has published on its website. The Russian Orthodox Church does not rule out the possibility of a meeting between the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Pope, but believes that it should be preceded by the resolution of the problems between them rather than be turned into "just a protocol meeting and … [Read more...]

‘Europe, spiritual homeland’

Pope Benedict and Abp. Hilarion

In "For Rome and Moscow, It's Spring Again," Sandro Magister on Chiesa looks at the book, in Italian and Russian, presented to Pope Benedict recently by Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk. It is a collection of the main speeches of Benedict, as cardinal and pope, on European culture made over the past ten years. The title of the book is taken from an expression that Benedict used in Prague: "Europa, patria spirituale [Europe, spiritual homeland]." Magister translated the archbishop's introduction (excerpts reprinted below). But listen to his amazement: Those who expect an Orthodox Church removed from time, made up only of remote traditions and archaic liturgies, will come away shaken from reading the introduction to this book. [ ... ] The image that emerges from it is that of a Russian Orthodox Church that refuses to let itself be locked up in a ghetto, but on the contrary hurls itself against the secularist onslaught with all the peaceful weapons at its disposal, not … [Read more...]

Archbishop Hilarion responds to U.S. State Dept. report on religious freedom

In late October, the State Department released the 2009 Report on International Religious Freedom, a study annually submitted to Congress. Remarks on the study by Michael H. Posner, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, are available here. (The country report for Turkey is available here.) The Russian foreign ministry said, on publication of the report, that it was compelled "to reiterate our previous repeated assessments of the U.S. State Department report as a politically engaged, garbled document which intentionally distorts the real situation of religious freedom in Russia and keeps silent about positive developments in this field." Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk issued his own response to the State Department study (full text at the bottom of this post) which amounts to a summary of the Moscow Patriarchate's position on religious freedom in Russia. While much more temperate than the Russian government's response, the archbishop's letter did, … [Read more...]

Russian Orthodox launch the St. Gregory Nazianzus Foundation

inside-the-vatican-mag

Robert Moynihan, editor of the Inside the Vatican newsletter, is in Moscow visiting with Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk and other church people. He reports that "the Russian Orthodox have now decided to engage with Catholics, and others, in a collaboration which can be compared to an actual alliance against the great social evils of our day, not only in Russia, but also throughout Europe and the world." Moynihan says that this effort will be directed by a new think tank, the St. Gregory Nazianzus Foundation, which has the blessing of Patriarch Kirill. Archbishop Hilarion, working with a team of young Orthodox clergy and laymen, decided to found the St. Gregory Nazianzus Foundation in order to work together with Catholics and others in the West, to support traditional spiritual values in Russia, but also throughout the world, St. Greory was a theologian in the 300s, well before the division of the Church into East and West, and so is venerated both by the Catholics and by the … [Read more...]

Archbishop Hilarion on Orthodox-Catholic relations

From the Moscow Patriarchate, Nov. 12, 2009: During his meeting with foreign media people on 11 November 2009, Archbishop Hilarion spoke on burning issues of inter-Christian relations. He said in particular that considerable improvements took shape in relations with the Roman Catholic Church in recent years. ‘There is a regular mechanism of mutual consultations and high-level visits… We can state that we are moving towards the moment when the preparation of a meeting between the Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of Moscow will become possible. I would like to underline that we have no concrete plans concerning the venue and date of this meetings but the both sides show a desire to prepare it’, he said. According to His Eminence Hilarion, this meeting should serve to find ‘a common platform’ for issues of bilateral relations, which are still disputable or divisive. ‘As soon as it is found and appropriate agreements are prepared to be signed by the two Churches, this meeting will … [Read more...]

Archbishop Hilarion on social problems

From the Moscow Patriarchate, Nov. 12, 2009: During his meeting with foreign journalists on 11 November 2009, Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk answered questions concerning urgent problems of society today. Asked about the Church’s view of some problems of bioethics, especially the use of artificial life-support systems to prolong the life of a patient, he said, ‘It is a very complicated issue. We in the Orthodox Church do not believe that one’s life should be certainly prolonged by artificial means. We believe a human being is born when it pleases God and dies when it pleases God. Complications arise when artificial life-support systems are used in a critical situation when there is a hope for one’s survival and return to normal life. But then one’s organism as if adjusts itself to these machines without one’s regaining consciousness. One continues to live in a vegetative state and here a complicated dilemma arises indeed: who can switch off these machines thus actually … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Fordham

(sigh) Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was at Fordham University in New York to receive an award yesterday and give a speech. A number of things jump out. First, a recap. In his post, "The Patriarch, the Enlightenment, and the Environment," here on the Observer, Fr. Gregory Jensen reminds us that the human heart needs communion with a person, not an inanimate object. Whether in the Holy Trinity or in the human family, personal communion is radically different then the union possessed by “molecules of water” or by “particles of atmosphere.” The union of the physical creation is impersonal. There is no communion between molecules of water or particles of air. Thus the comparison of the human to the non-human world in these terms makes all conversation about what is in our best personal or national interest meaningless. When particularity is subsumed into an abstraction, the differences between people ultimately have no meaning. But, in his Fordham speech, Patriarch … [Read more...]

Hilarion and Chrysostomos meet on Cyprus issues

Archbishops Chrysostomos (left) and Hilarion

The Russian Orthodox influence in the Mediterranean grows. Source: Moscow Patriarchate. On 22 October 2009, the Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk met with His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Nea Justiniana and All Cyprus. Taking part in the meeting that took place in Paphos, Cyprus, was Metropolitan Isaiah (Kykkotis) of Tamassos. They discussed a wide range of the problems of mutual interest in the atmosphere of fraternal understanding. Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk thanked the Primate of the Church of Cyprus for his care for the Russian-speaking flock living in Cyprus. Having noted that the need in spiritual care for the Russian-speaking population is increasing, he suggested that, following the established practice, the future clergymen of the Church of Cyprus should be sent to the theological schools of the Russian Orthodox Church to learn the Russian language and the traditions of the Russian … [Read more...]

Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue off to rocky start on Cyprus

Orthodox or Catholic ecclesiology?

.From the Sunday Mail (Cyprus): Members of Orthodox Christian unions along with clerics and monks yesterday disrupted a Paphos conference between Orthodox and Catholic Christians. The unions, monks from Stavrovouni monastery and Larnaca clerics were protesting against the conference and demanding that Archbichop Chrysostomos II cancel it. It was day one of the conference of the Joint Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. The protesters claimed the dialogue between the two churches aimed in the submission of the Orthodox Church to the Pope. AsiaNews, picking up on an interview Metropolitan John of Pergamon held with a Cypriot journalist, said the metropolitan wanted to send a message to "certain areas" of the Orthodox Church that are suffering from "a traditionalist narcissism bordering on infallibility." ... Zizoulas immediately clarifies that "the decision to participate in dialogue with the Catholic … [Read more...]