Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Inverview: A Mission in the World
Archbishop HILARION of Volokolamsk

The Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate distributed “A Mission in the World,” an interview of Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk by Expert Magazine (Issue No. 23 [661] June 15, 2009). His Eminence was formerly the Moscow Patriarchate's representative in Western Europe and now heads the Department of External Church Relations.

Expert Magazine: Your Eminence, one hundred days have passed since the enthronement of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. What has changed in church-society relations since? Have any new tendencies emerged?

Archbishop Hilarion: The man who ascended to the throne of the Moscow Patriarchate is one who has been known for many years for his focus on mission and his capacity to shed light on matters. He has long been in active co-operation with all parts of the society, hosting a TV programme of his own and making regular appearances in the print media. Even before he was elected Patriarch, he was known and loved by millions of Russian Orthodox faithful throughout the world. He has gained authority in broad public circles. Metropolitan Kirill accumulated a unique experience during his work at the Department for External Church Relations and through his close cooperation with the late Patriarch Alexy II. This has fully prepared him for the new role he assumed upon his election to the Moscow Patriarchal throne. But the most important thing is that he is a man who is absolutely committed to the Church; there is no private agenda for him. He has deposited all his abilities and talents at the feet of Christ, as St. Gregory the Theologian put it.

Patriarch Kirill’s enthronement has given a new impetus to the entire complex of relations between the Church and the world external to it. Patriarch Kirill tends to issue challenges to the clergy and the whole Church in a very tough and clear way. At the same time, he is a church leader not only because of his position but also by virtue of his personality. He can inspire people, mobilizing them to a more pro-active missionary and educational work.

Read it all on the American Orthodox Institiute's Blog here.