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.


  1. A very organized and clear writing style, instructive and refreshing.

  2. AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! This hierarch speaks with the voice of authority, in accordance with Holy Scriptures, the saints, and the entire Moral Tradition of the Orthodox Church throughout the ages. May God bless and protect him always. We need more courageous and real shepherds like him!

    • When one speaks the truth, he speaks “as one having authority”. What I am trying to understand is how people came to ascribe normality to abnormal (aberrant) situations. Here is the answer:

      Elder Paisios the New of Mount Athos.

      We ought always to be careful and be in constant hesitation about whether things are really as we think. For when someone is constantly occupied with his thoughts and trusts in them, the devil will manage things in such a way that he will make the man evil, even if by nature he was good.

      The ancient fathers did not trust their thoughts at all, but even in the smallest things, when they had to give an answer, they addressed the matter in their prayer, joining to it fasting, in order in some way to ‘force’ Divine Grace to inform them what was the right answer according to God. And when they received the ‘information,’ they gave the answer.

  3. The young Metropolitan’s speech is to be admired. His model of leadership is to be emulated. In my opinion, the more I read of and see Metropolitan Hilarion the more I am convinced he is an Orthodox version of Karol Wojtyla.
    Some will no doubt call +Hilarion a fundamentalist but this is clearly not the case.

    Metropolitan Hilarion sees things as they are and in this way he demonstrates great love for those whom him addresses. Unlike the faculty of SVS which chose to honor Rowan Williams and ignore is unhealthy beliefs, +Hilarion confronts these problems with honesty and courage. He is a teacher par excellence and his courage should shame SVS.

    Likwise, +Hilarion is not trying to build a phony consenus. He does not lower the bar of Orthodoxy- he raises it for all of us. I also like the fact that the Metropolitan can handle himself in public and in a real dicusssion on real issues. He takes his work very seriously. He is not concerned with how we feel about an issue but what the Church teaches about an issue.

    In an age where bishops seem to want to be liked rather than lead. In age where Bishops try to be your buddy and not your father. In an age where bishops treat their flocks like infants, Metropolitan Hilarion is a father and pastor who expects great things not only from himself but from all of us as well.

    What can be more refreshing……:)

  4. I certainly concur with the comments on the power of Metropolitan Hilarion’s words, and the courage with which he presented them.

    From the Anglican perspective, perhaps the most important part of his message is breaking through the pretense that the actions of TEC, ordaining women, etc. pose no problems ecumenically. Hilarion names them for what they are — terrible obstacles to our Lord’s prayer that we all may be one.

    He has also modeled clearly the vocation of the Bishop as defender of the faith — sadly lacking in many Anglican bishops,

    May God grant Metropolitan Hilarion many years!

  5. This is indeed very heartening. Thank you very much for posting this.

  6. Great speech! I love the fact that he used the language of the progressive elements in modern theology. It shows that he knows what they are offering. This makes his critique all the more powerful and compelling. Beyond all this, though, I especially appreciate his courage in standing up to the juggernaut of political correctness. (As C.S. Lewis said, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” So true.) Many, many, many years to his Eminence.

  7. I just wanted to say thanks for posting the entire speech.

  8. George Michalopulos :

    Andrew, upon further reflection of your post, it appears to me that Metropolitan Hilarion has done more than just lay down some markers for the Anglicans. He has laid down some for Orthodox of the ecumenist bent as well. This is probably more important in the final analysis as a true, global union with the Anglican Communion is not in the cards. (At best, we can do what the Pope is doing, pick off a few parishes or dioceses even here and there.) What is more fearsome is the incipient liberalism of the Greek-speaking churches and the Islamic apologetic that comes out of Antioch and Alexandria’s Orthodox patriarchates and their eparchies in North America.

  9. George:

    What is more fearsome is the incipient liberalism of the Greek-speaking churches and the Islamic apologetic that comes out of Antioch and Alexandria’s Orthodox patriarchates and their eparchies in North America.

    I believe that these “orthodox” patriarchates embraced super-ecumenism or “the cult of the same God”.

    The Monotheistic Religions; Do We Have the Same God That Non-Christians Have?

    In order better to explain the matter, we shall limit ourselves to the three religions that have historically followed each other in this order: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. These three religions lay claim, in fact, to a common origin: as worshippers of the God of Abraham. Thus it is a very widespread opinion that since we all lay claim to the posterity of Abraham (the Jews and Moslems according to the flesh and Christians spiritually), we all have as God the God of Abraham and all three of us worship (each in his own way, naturally) the same God! And, this same God constitutes in some fashion our point of unity and of “mutual understanding,” and this invites us to a “fraternal relation,” as the Grand Rabbi Dr. Safran emphasized, paraphrasing the Psalm: “Oh, how good it is to see brethren seated together…”

    In this perspective it is evident that Jesus Christ, God and Man, the Son Co-eternal with the Father without beginning, His Incarnation, His Cross His Glorious Resurrection and His Second and Terrible Coming — become secondary details which cannot prevent us from “fraternizing” with those who consider Him as “a simple prophet” (according to the Koran) or as “the son of a prostitute” (according to certain Talmudic traditions)! Thus we would place Jesus of Nazareth and Mohammed on the same level. I do not know what Christian worthy of the name could admit this in his conscience.

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