August 31, 2014

Totalitarianism Arrives in Increments


Behind the efforts to remove Christian symbols from the public square lurks a desire to erase Christianity from the collective memory. Why? Because Christianity references something higher than the state as the source and judge of morality and thereby affirms man serves first God and neighbor and only secondarily the state, and only then as far as this first and greatest commandment is not violated. Metropolitan Hilarion: Western Liberals Make a Grave Mistake by Imposing Totalitarian Standards on Free People Source: Russian Orthodox Church Department of External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Department for External Church Relations, speaking during the weekly programme ‘The Church and the World’ on Russia 24 TV channel on March 24, 2012, commented on the British authorities’ decision to defend in the European Court of Human Rights the legitimacy of the corporate policy adopted by some British commercial companies to ban the wearing of … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Hilarion Accuses West of Leaving Egypt Christians in the Lurch


The Episcopal Assembly could be in the forefront of this. Moscow, November 1, Interfax - Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations has accused the West of failing to stand up for Egyptian Christians during recent violence against them and has slammed Western governments for putting economic interests before human life. "Despite the unprecedented escalation of violence against Christians in Egypt early in October, not a single Western country has put any pressure on the provisional military authorities of that country or threatened economic sanctions," a statement from the Synodal Department for External Church Relations quoted Metropolitan Hilarion as saying during a ceremony at the university of Lugano, Switzerland, in which he had the degree of doctor honoris causa conferred on him. Footage showing armored personnel carriers "crushing a peaceful Coptic demonstration and shooting at unarmed people remain outside … [Read more...]

With the Rise of Militant Secularism, Rome and Moscow Make Common Cause

Pat. Kyrill and Pope Benedict

The Acton Institute just published my essay. Source: Acton Institute | Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse The European religious press is abuzz over recent developments in Orthodox – Catholic relations that indicate both Churches are moving closer together. The diplomatic centerpiece of the activity would be a meeting of Pope Benedict and Patriarch Kyrill of the Russian Orthodox Church that was first proposed by Pope John Paul II but never realized. Some look to a meeting in 2013 which would mark the 1,700th anniversary of the signing of the Edict of Milan when Constantine lifted the persecution of Christians. It would be the first visit between the Pope of Rome and Patriarch of Moscow in history. A few short years ago a visit between Pope and Patriarch seemed impossible because of lingering problems between the two Churches as they reasserted territorial claims and began the revival of the faith in post-Soviet Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere. The relationship grew tense at times and while … [Read more...]

75 out of every 100 Victims of Religious Intolerance are Christian


Out of every 100 victims of religious intolerance in the world, 75 are Christians. After the terrorist attack on 20 January 2011 in Alexandria, the European Parliament adopted a resolution acknowledging the fact of violation of the rights of Christians. Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, in his interview to Izvestiya daily (Issue 50 (28311), 24 March 2011), speaks of the persecution of Christians today. What is your opinion of the European Parliament’s resolution on the violation of the rights of Christians? How and why at all did it appear? The European Parliament has adopted the Resolution on the Situation of Christians in the Context of Freedom of Religion, and the EU Committee of Foreign Ministers in its statement on February 22 expressed concern for ‘the increasing number of acts of religious intolerance and discrimination, as epitomised by recent violence and acts of terrorism, in various countries, against Christians’. These two decisions were to a considerable extent a … [Read more...]

Met. Hilarion Confident Pan-Orthodox Synod will Resume in “Near Future”


Source: Russian Orthodox Church Department for External Church Relations Your Eminence! You have recently led a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church at the meeting of the Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission held in Chambesy near Geneva. Which questions did you discuss? The Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission is a working body which prepares the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. It elaborates items included in the Council’s agenda. The catalogue of the items was compiled in 1976 and includes ten topics demanding the elaboration of common position of the Orthodox Church. According to the regulation, proposals made by the Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission are to be approved by the Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference. The major part of the mentioned catalogue has been elaborated in the last decades, while in 2009 the Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference approved the decisions on the ordering of cooperation among the Churches in Orthodox diaspora. That … [Read more...]

Orthodox mission in America (no, not the history, the future)

Cyril and Methodios

Rereading the post where I argue that the contemporary definition of Hellenism is truncated (an Islamic captivity? dhimitude?), I see it fits into an article I reread earlier this morning and posted on again: Orthodox Mission in the 21st Century by Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church. A highlight: To recover the missionary dimension of the Church is today’s greatest imperative. We have to recover a very basic truth: that the Church is essentially Mission, that the very roots of her life are in the commandment of Christ: ‘Go ye therefore and teach all nations’ (Matt. 28:19). A Christian community that would lose this missionary zeal and purpose, that would become selfish and self-centered, that would limit itself to ‘satisfying the spiritual needs of its members’, that would identify itself completely with a nation, a society, a social or ethnic group – is on its way to spiritual decadence and death, because the essential spiritual need of a … [Read more...]

Met. Hilarion’s speech at the Nicean Club Dinner (full version)

Address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations to the Annual Nicean Club Dinner (Lambeth Palace, 9 September 2010) Speech removed until a corrected version arrives. I was informed that the speech by Met. Hilarion that I posted contains some (mostly minor) errors. Since I want to be as accurate as possible, I have removed the first translation and will post the corrected version as soon as I receive it. You can read the first version by following the link above. … [Read more...]

OCA summarizes Met. Hilarion’s visit

Note (from the release): "Metropolitan Hilarion affirmed the Russian Orthodox Church's commitment to uphold its granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in America in 1970," said Father Alexander Garklavs after the meeting. My question: While I welcome the affirmation, does the Church that grants autocephaly actually have the power to rescind it? I wouldn't think so. The granting of autocephaly is not conditional. If it were, autocephaly would be something other than independence. HT: Byzantine TX SYOSSET, NY (OCA) - On Tuesday, August 31, 2010, His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion [Alfeyev] of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, and permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate, concluded his three-day working visit to New York at the invitation of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah of All America and Canada. A member of the Board of Trustees of Saint Vladimir's Seminary, Crestwood, NY, … [Read more...]

Met. Hilarion: Our concern is to preserve and consolidate unity of Russian Orthodox Church

On July 17, 2010, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, speaking in Church and World talk show, answered questions from anchorman Ivan Semenov concerning the work of the DECR as a church external policy department. - Does an Orthodox Christian in his everyday life ever encounter the work of the DECR and fruits of your efforts? - Of course, they do, especially those who live in the far-abroad countries and some neighbouring countries. Take for instance relations between the Orthodox and the Catholics or between the Orthodox and the Protestants. These are not only relations existing on official level. Many Orthodox believers live in countries with the predominant Catholic Church or in the countries where most people confess Protestantism. It means there are mixed marriages, communication at work places with people of other faiths or other Christian confessions. We do not live in a world where we are … [Read more...]

A Holy Alliance between Rome and Moscow Is Born

Pope Benedict meets Abp. Hilarion in Rome

Again, almost incomprehensible just a few short years ago. Highlight: "The common objective: the "new evangelization" of Europe. A delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church visits the Vatican, which publishes an anthology of the patriarch's writings. A meeting between Kirill and Benedict XVI keeps getting closer." by Sandro Magister Chiesa Espresso ROME, May 24, 2010 – Benedict XVI will soon create a new "pontifical council" expressly dedicated to the "new evangelization." Not for mission countries where the congregation "de propaganda fide" is already at work. But for the countries of ancient Christian tradition that are today in danger of losing the faith. Pope Joseph Ratzinger wants to link his pontificate to this initiative. And this was the main topic that he discussed one morning in the spring of 2009, at Castel Gandolfo, with four prominent cardinals he had called for consultation: Camillo Ruini, Angelo Bagnasco, Christoph Schönborn, and Angelo Scola, the last being … [Read more...]

Russian Orthodox leader says church will not interfere in politics

Ecumenical News International / 30 April 2010 By Jonathan Luxmoore Warsaw, 30 April (ENI)--A leader in the Russian Orthodox Church has insisted his church has no wish to be an official State denomination and will never side with any single political force. "The threat that the church will be used by government doesn't exist today," said Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, chairperson of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, Russia's Interfax news agency has reported. "Far from giving precedence to any political party or political power, the Russian church upholds the principle of equidistance. It cannot interfere in politics, support one party against another or identify itself with any political power," said Hilarion, speaking at a Moscow meeting with young Orthodox Christians, on 21 April. … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Hilarion to visit Italy

Moscow clearly has taken the lead in world Orthodoxy. +++++++++++++++++ Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, will visit Italy from May 14th to 20th, 2010, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. The programme of his stay will include a visit to Milan, Turin, Bologna, Ravenna, and Rome, celebration of divine services, meeting with the hierarchs of the Roman Catholic Church, lectures at the university, and meetings with compatriots. On Sunday, May 16, Metropolitan Hilarion will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the Moscow Patriarchate parish in Milan. The DECR chairman, together with hierarchs and clerics of the Moscow Patriarchate, will celebrate the Liturgy at the Shroud of Turin on May 18 at night, and will deliver a lecture at the University of Bologna that same day. … [Read more...]