July 23, 2014

Russian Orthodox Church opens seminary in France

Logo of the Russian Orthodox Seminary in France

H/T: Byzantine, TX The Russian Orthodox Church has opened its first seminary outside the former Soviet Union - in a small French town outside Paris. The institution is starting modestly but has big ambitions: to serve Russia's growing diaspora and foster closer ties between Eastern and Western Christian churches. It is a bitterly cold afternoon, but the large stone building in the heart of Epinay-Sous-Senart is warm and welcoming, with smells of cooking and a Christmas tree in the front hall. Upstairs, half a dozen black-robed students are studying theology. The building is an old convent. But the nuns are gone and their Roman Catholic crosses have been traded for Russian icons and incense. The students are on the front lines of a bold experiment launched by the Russian Orthodox church, the first pupils of the church's first seminary in the West. "The Russian Orthodox church needs more than ever good specialists who know not only the life of Christian churches in western … [Read more...]

Wave of Clergy Killings in Russia

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (center) conducts the funeral service for slain priest Daniil Sysoyev in a Moscow church, 23 November 2009

Voice of America. H/T Orthodox News Twenty-six Orthodox priests murdered since 1990, including 39-year-old Alexander Filippov on Tuesday The second murder of a Russian priest in as many months has prompted a call by the Orthodox Church for Russians to think about their country's spiritual and moral condition. The killings follow more violence this year directed against Muslim clerics in Russia's troubled Caucasus region. Tuesday's shooting death of 39-year-old priest Alexander Filippov is alleged to be the act of two intoxicated men in the village of Satino-Russkoye near Moscow. His widow is quoted as saying Filippov had reproached the suspects for relieving themselves at the entrance of their apartment building. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, called Filippov a bright and clean-living individual who leaves behind three daughters. Kirill says the priest was killed because he was not indifferent to disgusting human behavior and took a … [Read more...]

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...]

Patriarch Kirill believes main achievement of August 1991 is revival of faith

Kursk, September 24, Interfax – Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia believes that the main achievement of August 1991 is revival of religious life and end of atheistic persecutions in Russia. “Perhaps, the Lord allowed destroying churches, insulting shrines, shedding blood and suffering in order to open divine logics of life and mystery of God’s will to our people and through our long-suffering history to the whole world,” Patriarch Kirill said in his sermon after festival service in the Kursk Root Hermitage on Thursday. The Patriarch noted that the way of hardships our country passed in the 20th century was not taken in vain, as the whole society was able to “redeem its guilt before God, to redeem the sin of apostasy with suffering, blood and misfortunes.” “On certain moment of history the Lord – as there was no any human will in it - on the day of His glorious Transfiguration tempered justice with mercy and stopped more than 70-year atheistic captivity,” the Patriarch … [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...]