April 19, 2014

Der Speigel interviews Abp. Hilarion (Alfeyev)

Ed. The secularized west meets the Orthodox east. From the Russian Orthodox Church Department of External Church Relations website. +++++++++++++++++++ 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 is published in Der Spiegel’s issue No. 51, 2009. How would you explain the difference between the Orthodox, the Catholic and the Protestant Churches? 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 Orthodoxy we accept him as priest. As for … [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...]

Pope Benedict’s message to Albanian Orthodox

Abp. Anastasios

From Zenit: Christ's Saving Message Has Borne Fruit in Your Country VATICAN CITY, DEC. 4, 2009 -- Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today upon receiving in audience Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durres and All Albania, who is the head of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. * * * Your Beatitude, "Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess 1:2). I am pleased to extend a fraternal welcome to Your Beatitude and to the other distinguished representatives of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania accompanying you today. I recall with gratitude, in spite of the sad circumstances, our meeting at the funeral of the late Pope John Paul II. I also remember with satisfaction how my same venerable Predecessor had the occasion to greet you in Tirana during his Apostolic Visit to Albania. As is well known, Illyricum received the Gospel in Apostolic times (cf. Acts 17:1; Rom 15:19). Since then, Christ’s saving message … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew greets Vatican delegation at the Phanar

Pat. Bartholomew and Card. Kasper

From the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle: Istanbul, Turkey 11/30/2009 His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressed a Vatican delegation representing Pope Benedict XVI at the Thronal Feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on November 30, 2009. The delegation, led by Cardinal Walter Kasper also delivered greetings to His All Holiness on behalf of Pope Benedict. The Ecumenical Patriarch's greeting on the feast of St. Andrew the First Called follows: Your Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, representative of His Holiness the Pope and Bishop of Rome, Benedict XVI, and your honorable entourage, It is with great joy that we welcome you once again to the courtyard of the Church of New Rome in order to concelebrate the sacred memory of its founder and protector Saint Andrew the First-Called of the Apostles. We express our heartfelt gratitude to our beloved brother in the Lord, His Holiness Pope Benedict of Old Rome, who deigned to delegate his representatives to the … [Read more...]

Benedict to Bartholomew: Unity through truth and charity, not power

Pope Benedict and Pat. Bartholomew

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received a message today from Pope Benedict XVI at the Phanar on the occasion of the Feastday of St. Andrew the Apostle. The pope's message was delivered by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, during the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George. From AsiaNews.it: Following an old tradition dating back to Pope Paul VI, the two Churches send delegations to celebrate their respective patron saints, an Orthodox delegation coming to Rome on the Feast Day of SS Peter and Paul (29 June), and a Vatican delegation travelling to the Phanar for the Feast Day of Saint Andrew (30 November). Led by Card Walter Kasper, the Vatican delegation took part in the Divine Liturgy celebrated this morning in the Phanar by Bartholomew. At the end Cardinal Kasper, who chairs the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, handed the patriarch the papal message. The theological dialogue … [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...]

Thinking about the bulletin insert on the Green Patriarch’s visit…

Pardon my skepticism but does anyone else find the effusive praise in the handout to Greek Orthodox parishioners last Sunday overbearing? The author tries so hard to convince us of Patriarch Bartholomew’s stratospheric virtues that the entire piece has an “Our Dear Leader” feel to it. It reads, I am sad to say, like propaganda. Strong words? Yes, but only because the endless strings of ebullient praise muddles other very important points. While Pat. Bartholomew’s stand on the protection of the environment should be applauded, and while he has done much to raise awareness that environmental care is an issue to which Christians can contribute, it does not follow that all of his actions surrounding “creation care” (as some of the participants in the Mississippi River Symposium refer to it) are sound. For example, as part of Pat. Bartholomew’s environmental program in the United States later this month, he plans a visit to Georgetown University to deliver a talk co-sponsored by … [Read more...]

Table for one?

Over at Ad Orientem, John wonders about the Green Patriarch's pending trip (HT: George M.) By my count H.A.H.'s itinerary includes... 6 liturgical functions + 1 prayer service at the UN 8 functions at which he will be honored or given some form of award 3 excursions that appear to be mainly sight seeing 2 functions where he will be speaking but do not appear to be aimed at honoring the EP and... 24 dinners, or private receptions in his honor with VIPs (excluding private meetings with Orthodox clergy). Many of these dinners and receptions will be taking place in 5 star establishments such as the Waldorf Astoria where H.A.H will be staying for much of his visit. I am very glad to see that His All Holiness will be fed decently during his visit. Still I wonder... … [Read more...]

Moscow: No meeting with pope in the works

From Interfax (Oct. 7): Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk has denied reports that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia might visit the Vatican in the near future. "No preparations are being made for the Patriarch's trip to the Vatican and his meeting with the Pope at any particular place or at any particular time," Archbishop Hilarion said while taking questions from journalists in Moscow. The possibility of the Pope's visit to Russia in the near future is not being discussed, either, he said. "The matter may imply a meeting on neutral ground, as they say now," he said. Archbishop Hilarion insisted that the main purpose of a dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church is not so much a meeting between their heads as such as "radical improvement in our relations and the overcoming of the existing problems." He mentioned among such problems proselytism, a too … [Read more...]

Moscow: Limited jurisdiction for Constantinople

Pope Benedict and Archbishop Hilarion

From the Moscow Patriarchate's report on the recent meeting between Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk and Pope Benedict XVI: Archbishop Hilarion stressed the importance of the Orthodox and Catholic common witness to traditional Christian values in face of the secular world. He pointed to the identity of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches’ views on such themes as family, motherhood, population crisis, euthanasia and many other ethical issues. The DECR chairman pointed to essential differences existing on these issues between the Orthodox and Catholics, on one hand, and various Protestant communities, on the other. In this situation the Orthodox-Catholic cooperation in elaborating a common stand on these issues acquired a special importance, he said. Archbishop Hilarion also pointed to the need to enhance the positive potential of the bilateral relations including cooperation in the field of culture. The DECR chairman and the head of the Roman Catholic Church discussed … [Read more...]

Archbishop Hilarion to visit Vatican soon

Met. Hilarion

Moscow, September 9, Interfax – Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk is going on a working visit to Vatican to discuss issues connected with dialogue between the two Churches. He told it at his meeting with Dominican Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso in Moscow. According to the Archbishop, today the Moscow Patriarchate has set out “good relations” with the Roman Catholic Church, which have been particularly improved in recent years under Pope Benedict XVI of Rome. “We have frank and rather efficient dialogue and its objective is to present Christian vision to our present world and give answers to the questions raised by today’s reality,” the DECR head said. HT: Byzantine Texas. … [Read more...]