July 24, 2014

Metropolitan Hilarion Believes that Western Countries Tend to Dictatorship

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Secularization disguised as democratization released a colossal energy of subordination to power in the European states. Met. Hilarion below affirms a thesis I developed in the essay "Homosexual Marriage at the Dusk of Liberty" where I argue that the legal codification of homosexual "marriage" effectively establishes the State as both the source and judge of human morality. This breathtaking arrogation of moral authority can only lead to the extinction of liberty. Progressive ideologies have at their core a totalitarian impulse (see Malcolm Muggeridge "The Great Liberal Death Wish"). When Progressive ideas meld with the power of the State, those who hold views contrary to the Progressive social vision will be seen as enemies of the State. When that happens Christianity will become criminalized. Met. Hilarion makes the same point from the European side: "Free will of citizens is a preconditioned, not absolute characteristic of a democratic state. For example, two … [Read more...]

Met. Hilarion of Volokolamsk: Church and State in Russia

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Met. Hilarion of Volokolamsk is the Chairman of the of the Department for External Church Relations Moscow Patriarchate. Key quote: "We remain strongly convinced that the secular nature of the state does not presuppose the ousting of the Church from the public space or her marginalization and placement in a “ghetto”. The Russian Orthodox Church is not only a social institution that has played a tremendous historical role in the development of Russian statehood and formation of the Russian people’s Christian spirit, but also an important part of the modern civil society. By virtue of this fact the Church has a right to expect that her voice is heard. And now, at a time of relative wellbeing of the Church, relevant are the words of St. Tikhon, the Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, who said not long before his death, “Looking at the future ways of holy Orthodoxy without fear, we call upon you, our beloved children, do God’s cause and may the sons … [Read more...]

Russian Orthodox Bishop: Syrian Christians Facing ‘Extermination’

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Over at the Acton Institute blog, John Couretas writes about his recent interview with Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, about increasing Christian persecution around the world. One focus was the mid-east where the Western "Arab Spring" policy has in fact unleashed a torrent of persecution against Christians. Iraq's Christian population had to leave after the American invasion in 2003. Today the same is happening in Syria, especially as we arm insurgents who we are told are freedom fighters but in fact are Islamic radicals. Met. Hilarion is careful in his criticism... It is possible already now to speak of an external military interference in [Syria] as thousands of extremist militants in the guise of opposition forces have unleashed a civil war in the country,” Hilarion said in the Moscow lecture. “Extremist groups, the so-called jamaates consisting of militant Wahhabites armed … [Read more...]

European Civilization – From the Edict of Milan to Christianophobia

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On October 2, 2012, the DECR chairman spoke at the opening of an international reflection-action conference on ‘Spiritual Feat of Sts Constantine and Helen Equal-to-the-Apostles – the Beginning and Triumph of Christendom in Human History’, which took place at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dear Participants and Guests of the Conference, Allow me to greet you on behalf of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. In his statements, His Holiness has often addressed the theme of Christian values which have formed the European civilization and become the spiritual foundation of our people. It is an important theme to be constantly revisited. The Christian world is approaching a remarkable date, the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, which entered the world history as a most important legal document dividing the two eras – those of heathen Roma and Christian Europe. As far back as 1675 … [Read more...]

Interview with Met. Hilarion on Unity and Primacy in the Orthodox Church [AUDIO]

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I published the article below earlier, but after listening to the recording of the interview, there's a lot more to report. The planning for a Pan-Orthodox Council continues, and one of the benefits is that thorny issues raised in the past such as the granting of autocephaly, the role of the Patriarch of Constantinople in world Orthodoxy and others are finally getting serious attention. Reading between the lines, it is clear that Constantinople's claims to universal supremacy have been rejected although they still possess a primacy of honor and limited authority to call a council and so forth. Met. Hilarion speaks highly of Pope Benedict calling him a "man of faith" and expressing particular appreciation of Benedict's knowledge of Orthodoxy. No promises concerning a meeting between Rome and Moscow are promised, although the newest date mentioned is 2013 which represents the 1700th anniversary of the signing of the Edict of Milan. Listen here: Source: Catholic News … [Read more...]

A Russian in Rome [VIDEO]

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Source: Inside Vatican The end of state atheism in Russia in 1991 and the return to Christian faith in that country, at least in a modest way, in the years since — opinions on the extent of Russia's religious renewal are sharply divided — seemed something impossible in the 1960s, 1970, 1980s... Pope John Paul II fervently desired that change so that Europe might regain its spiritual health and "breathe with two lungs" — Eastern as well as Western, Greek as well as Latin, Orthodox as well as Catholic... despite all the centuries of division and mistrust since the "Great Schism" of 1054. In the long process of this new "breathing" a special moment occurred on September 29 at Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome. On the morning of September 29, Benedict XVI welcomed the Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Patriarchate of Moscow’s Department for External Church Relations — the equivalent of the "Foreign Minister" of the Russian … [Read more...]

Met. Hilarion: The Problem of Religious Intolerance. What Can We Do Together?

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Source: Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church Highlight: At present we are experiencing a new era of persecution against Christians, which some compare to the time of the Roman emperors of the first three centuries. People in problem-free countries know nothing or do not want to know anything about it. Only a handful of public and human rights organizations are trying to draw public attention to this disastrous situation. Paper by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, at the International Conference on Christian-Jewish-Muslim Inter-confessional Dialogue (Budapest, 2 June 2011) Distinguished Participants in the Conference, Allow me to present to you my remarks concerning problems of the free confession of faith in the world and in some of its parts and on religious cooperation in this area. The freedom of conscience is a fundamental and commonly … [Read more...]

Russian Orthodox Leader Stands for Principle

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Here we see it unfolding. Orthodox Christianity has much to give the world, and it begins with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and a vigorous defense of biblical teaching through the wisdom and experience of our Orthodox tradition. And the teachings must be clear on the foundational issues that determine whether a culture and people lives or dies: the sanctity of life, marriage and family, sexuality, and the moral principles people have held to for centuries. This must be the message of Orthodox leaders. There is no other. Source: American Thinker The "great man" theory of history — that strong, unique, and highly influential individuals shape history (for good or ill) through their commanding personal characteristics that imbue them with power and influence over a specific period of time or during certain circumstances — may not be as widely accepted today among professional historians as in the past, but for many of us there is no denying what our own … [Read more...]

Met. Hilarion Alfeyev: Music and Faith in My Life and Vision

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Source: Catholic University of America Talk given February 9, 2011 at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Mr. President, esteemed members of the Academic Senate, professors, teachers, students, dear friends! First of all, permit me to express my profound gratitude for this invitation. It is a great honour for me to be within the walls of the Catholic University of America once again and to be addressing you. I was last here five years ago and at that time I spoke on Orthodox-Catholic relations. But today you have invited me in my dual capacity of churchman and a representative of culture. Acknowledging that I am not only a hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church but also a composer, you have asked me to address you on the connection between music and faith as experienced by past and contemporary composers as well as by myself. Music and Faith I would like to begin with a thought on the relationship between music and creativity. I am convinced that culture … [Read more...]

Met. Hilarion: Unbelief is Spiritual Blindness

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Source: Russian Orthodox Church, Department of External Church Relations Dear Brothers and Sisters, today we heard during the Gospel Reading the story of how the Lord Jesus Christ healed a blind man who was sitting at roadside, asking for salvation and healing. The Lord said to him, Go, your faith has healed you (Mk. 10:51-52). These words of our Saviour point to the direct relationship between spiritual vision and faith, between spiritual blindness and lack of faith. Unbelief is spiritual blindness that obturates God and the reality of the spiritual world. A non-believer is incapable of seeing the spiritual reality behind the phenomena of the visible world, which is present and co-exists with the material world. Spiritual blindness is the inability of man to see the hand of God in his life. A spiritually blind one ascribes all the good things in one’s life to oneself and thinks that if one succeeded in anything it happened thanks to one’s own talents, abilities and … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk: Allegations about a ‘breakthrough’ in Orthodox-Catholic dialogue are untrue

See my notes in the post immediately preceding this one. Source: As has been stressed by the chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the working document of the Joint International Commission for Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue, publicized so widely by some media, does not reflect the attitude of the Orthodox side to the problem of primacy of the bishop of Rome and can be viewed only as a purely auxiliary paper for further work. Contrary to allegations in the press, the Orthodox-Catholic Commission meeting in Vienna has made no ‘breakthrough’ whatsoever. The entire meeting was devoted to a discussion on the role of the bishop of Rome in the first millennium. The Commission’s coordinating committee had drafted a document on this issue, which was discussed last year in Cyprus. A rough draft of this document ‘leaked’ into the mass media and was published. … [Read more...]

Catholics and Orthodox report promising progress in latest round of unity talks

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I was going to post the release below a few days ago but decided against because, well, it had that ring of Constantinopolitan triumphalism to it. I'm jaded by Constantinople's global warming initiative where the full moral force of the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate (as well as the complete administrative resources of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese) was pressed into service on behalf of the global environmentalist lobby. Even a rudimentary search at the time when global warming was heralded as "settled science" would have given the independent observer pause; too many questions about the veracity of global warming "science" were raised by qualified scientists, unqualified political celebrities (Al Gore and others) were elevated to champion what ostensibly was a project of the scientific academy, too many adherents viewed environmentalism in quasi-religious terms (employing a twisting of the traditional moral vocabulary to justify their beliefs), and so forth. That the Ecumenical … [Read more...]