Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate since 31 March 2009

 

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (secular name: Grigory Valerievich Alfeyev) was born in Moscow on 24 July 1966.

From 1973 to 1984 he studied at the Moscow Gnessin Music School, majoring in violin and composition.

At the age of fifteen he became a reader at the Church of the Resurrection in Uspensky Vrazhek in Moscow. From 1983 he was a subdeacon to Metropolitan Pitirim (Nechaev) of Volokolamsk and Yuriev and a non-staff worker at the Publishing Department of the Moscow Patriarchate.

In 1984, upon finishing school, he entered the Composition Division of the Moscow State Conservatory.

From 1984 to 1986 he did military service.

In January 1987 he voluntarily terminated studies at the Moscow Conservatory and became a novice at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

On 19 June 1987 he took monastic vows and on June 21 was ordained hierodeacon at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius by Archbishop Viktorin of Vilnius and Lithuania.

On 19 August 1987, with the blessing of Archbishop Viktorin of Vilnius and Lithuania, he was ordained hieromonk at the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos in Vilnius by Archbishop Anatoly (Kuznetsov) of Ufa and Sterlitamak (now Archbishop of Kerch).

From 1988 to 1990 he served as rector of churches in Telšiai city, Tytuvėnai town and Kolainiai village in the diocese of Vilnius. In 1990 he was appointed rector of the Cathedral of the Annunciation in the city of Kaunas.

In 1989 he obtained a correspondence degree from the Moscow Theological Seminary and in 1991 from the Moscow Theological Academy, as Candidate of Theology. In 1993 he completed postgraduate studies at the Moscow Theological Academy.

In 1990 he participated in the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church as a member of the delegation from the diocese of Vilnius and Lithuania.

From 1991 to 1993 he taught homiletics, New Testament, dogmatic theology and Greek language at the Moscow Theological Seminary and Academy. In 1992 and 1993 he taught New Testament at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Institute and patrology at St. John the Theologian Russian Orthodox University.

In 1993 he was sent to study to the University of Oxford under the guidance of Bishop Kallistos (Ware) of Diocleia (now metropolitan, Patriarchate of Constantinople). In 1995 the degree of D.Phil. was conferred on Fr. Hilarion for his dissertation ‘St. Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition.’ While studying in England, Fr. Hilarion served at the parishes of the diocese of Sourozh.

In 1995 he became a staff member of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, and he headed its Secretariat for Inter-Christian Relations from August 1997 to 2002.

From 1995 to 1997 he taught patrology at the Smolensk and Kaluga Theological Seminaries. In 1996 he delivered a lecture course on dogmatic theology at St. Herman Theological Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska, USA.

From January 1996 he served as a cleric of the Church of St. Catherine in-the-Fields in Moscow, the Representation of the Orthodox Church in America.

From 1996 to 2004 he was a member of the Synodal Theological Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church.

From 1997 to 1999 he delivered a lecture course on dogmatic theology at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York, USA, and on the mystical theology of the Eastern Church at the Faculty of Divinity of the University of Cambridge, Great Britain.

In 1999 St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Theology.

At Easter 2000 he was elevated to the rank of hegumen at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Khoroshovo in Moscow by Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad (now Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia).

On 27 December 2001 the Holy Synod decreed that upon being elevated to the rank of archimandrite Hegumen Hilarion (Alfeyev) was to be consecrated Bishop of Kerch, vicar of the diocese of Sourozh.

On 7 January 2002, the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite at the Cathedral of the Dormition in Smolensk by Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad (now Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia).

On 14 January 2002 he was consecrated bishop at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. The consecration was performed by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia in concelebration with ten archpastors.

On 17 July 2002 the Holy Synod appointed him Bishop of Podolsk, vicar of the diocese of Moscow, and the head of the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church to European and International Institutions in Brussels.

On 7 May 2003 the Holy Synod appointed him Bishop of Vienna and Austria and entrusted with the temporary administration of the diocese of Budapest and Hungary; he retained his position as representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to European and International Institutions in Brussels.

On 1 February 2005 Bishop Hilarion was elected privatdozent of the Chair of Dogmatic Theology at the University of Freiburg, Switzerland.

On 24 August 2005 he was awarded the St. Macarius Prize for his book ‘The Sacred Mystery of the Church. Introduction to the “Name-Glorification” Controversy.’

On 31 March 2009 he was relieved of his duties as administrator of the dioceses of Vienna and Austria and Budapest and Hungary by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and appointed chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate and permanent member of the Holy Synod with the title ‘Bishop of Volokolamsk, vicar to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.’

On 9 April 2009, by the decree of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Bishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk was appointed rector of the Church of the ‘Joy of All Who Sorrow’ Icon of the Mother of God in Bolshaya Ordynka Street in Moscow.

On 20 April 2009 he was elevated to the rank of archbishop.

On 27 May 2009 the Holy Synod appointed him chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Commission for Old Rite Parishes and Cooperation with the Old Rite Community under the Department for External Church Relations (Minutes No. 42).

Since 28 May 2009 he has been a member of the Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations under the President of the Russian Federation.

From 27 July 2009 he has been a member of the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church and its presidium. He is chairman of the commission of the Inter-Council Presence on relations with non-Orthodox confessions and other religions, deputy chairman of the commission on opposing and overcoming church schisms, and a member of the commissions on theology and on liturgical practice and church art.

Since 13 January 2010 he has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Russkiy Mir Foundation.

On 1 February 2010 he was elevated to the rank of metropolitan in consideration of his diligent service to the Church and by virtue of his position as chairman of the Department for External Church Relations – permanent member of the Holy Synod.

Since 26 July 2010 he has been a member of the Patriarchal Council for Culture.

Since 22 March 2011 he has been a member of the Supreme Church Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.

On 5 October 2011 the Holy Synod appointed him chairman of the Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission (Minutes No. 100).

On 25 December 2012 the Holy Synod appointed him chairman of the Interdepartmental Coordinating Group for Teaching Theology in Higher Education Institutions (Minutes No. 114).

On 25-26 December 2013 the Holy Synod appointed him head ex officio of the Coordinating Centre for Promoting Theology as a Science in the Russian Orthodox Church (Minutes No. 156).

On 24 December 2015 the Holy Synod appointed him representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Interreligious Council of Russia (Minutes No. 98).

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk heads the Dissertation Council for Theology under the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

 

Academic titles and degrees:

 

  • D.Phil., University of Oxford, Great Britain (1995)
  • Doctor of Theology, St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute, France (1999)
  • Doctor of Philosophical Science (certificate no. 568/nk dated 20.05.2016 of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science)
  • Professor of the Moscow Theological Academy (2011)
  • Professor of the University of Freiburg, Switzerland (2011)
  • Professor and head of the Department of Theology at the National Research Nuclear Institute MEPhI (2012)
  • Doctor honoris causa of the Russian State Social University (2010)
  • Doctor of Theology honoris causa of the Faculty of Theology, Catholic University of Catalonia, Spain (2010)
  • Professor emeritus of the Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities (2010)
  • Doctor honoris causa of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy
  • Doctor of Theology honoris causa of the Faculty of Theology, University of Lugano, Switzerland (2011)
  • Doctor honoris causa of the University of Prešov, Slovakia (2011)
  • Doctor of Theology honoris causa, Minsk Theological Academy, Belarus (2012)
  • Doctor of Theology honoris causa, Villanova University, USA (2012)
  • Doctor honoris causa of Nashotah House Theological Seminary, USA (2012)
  • Professor emeritus of the Ural Mussorgsky State Conservatory (2012)
  • Professor emeritus of the Ural State Mining University (2012)
  • Doctor honoris causa of the Institute of Theology at the Belarusian State University (2013)
  • Doctor honoris causa of the Russian State University for the Humanities (2014)
  • Doctor honoris causa of the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria (2014)
  • Doctor of Divinity honoris causa of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York, USA (2014)
  • Doctor honoris causa of the Moscow State Linguistic University (2017)
  • Doctor honoris causa of the Theological Faculty of Puglia, Italy (2017)
  • Professor emeritus of the Moscow State Pedagogical University (2017)
  • Professor emeritus of the Lomonosov Moscow State University (2018)
  • Doctor honoris causa of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia (2018)
  • member of the Russian Union of Composers

Chairman of the editorial boards of the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, The Church and The Time journal and The Theological Studies journal (Moscow).

 

Education:

 

1989 – Moscow Theological Seminary

1991 – Moscow Theological Academy (Candidate of Theology)

1993 –Moscow Theological Academy (Postgraduate Studies)

1995 – University of Oxford (D. Phil.)

 

Places of work:

 

Department for External Church Relations, chairman

Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission, chairman

Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute for Postgraduate Studies, rector

Church of the ‘Joy of All Who Sorrow’ Icon of the Mother of God (Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord) on Bolshaya Ordynka Street in Moscow, rector

Chernigov Patriarchal Metochion, rector

Christian Interconfessional Consultative Committee of the CIS and Baltic Countries, co-chairman

Interdepartmental Coordinating Group for Teaching Theology in Higher Education Institutions, chairman

Interreligious Council of Russia, representative of the Russian Orthodox Church

Coordinating Committee for Promoting Theology as a Science in the Russian Orthodox Church, head

Moscow Patriarchate’s Commission for Students Exchange, chairman

Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, chairman of the editorial board

Theological Works journal, chairman of the editorial board

 

Scholarly works and publications:

 

Publications

 

Metropolitan Hilarion is the author of more than a thousand publications, including monographs on the New Testament, patristics, dogmatic theology and church history, as well as of translations of the Church Fathers’ works from the Greek and Syriac languages into Russian.

Among Metropolitan Hilarion’s books are: ‘The Mystery of Faith. Introduction to Dogmatic Theology’ (1996), ‘The Life and Teaching of St. Gregory the Theologian’ (1998), ‘The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian’ (1998), ‘St. Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition’ (1998), ‘Orthodox Theology between Two Ages’ (1999), ‘The Sacred Mystery of the Church. Introduction to the “Name-Glorification” Controversy’ (in 2 volumes, 2002), ‘What Do Orthodox Christians Believe In? Catechetical Discourses’ (2004), ‘Orthodox Christianity’ (in two volumes, 2008-2009), ‘Patriarch Kirill. His Life and Worldview’ (2009), ‘Jesus Christ. His Life and Teaching’ (in six volumes, 2016-2017), ‘Sermons’ (in three volumes, 2016-2018), ‘The Apostle Paul. A Biography’ (2017), ‘The Apostle Peter: A Biography’ (2018), ‘Grace and Law. A Commentary on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans’ (2018).

 

Bibliography

 

Musical Compositions

 

Metropolitan Hilarion is the author of numerous musical compositions, including ‘The Divine Liturgy’ and ‘The All-Night Vigil’ for á capella choir, ‘A Song of

Ascents’ symphony for choir and orchestra, ‘St. Matthew Passion’ oratorio for soloists, choir and orchestra, ‘Christmas Oratorio’ for soloists, boys’ choir, mixed choir and symphony orchestra.

 

Awards

 

Church Awards

 

  • 1996, 1999 – Certificates of Appreciation from His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
  • 2003 – Medal of Prince Constantine of Ostrog, Orthodox Church of Poland
  • 2009 – Silver Order of St. Innocent, Orthodox Church in America
  • 2010 – Order of St. Isidore of Yuriev, 2nd class, Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate
  • 2010 – Order of St. Stephen the Great, 2nd class, Orthodox Church of Moldova
  • 2010 – Order of St. Mark, 2nd class, Orthodox Church of Alexandria
  • 2011 – Order of Ss. Peter and Paul, 2nd class, Orthodox Church of Antioch
  • 2011 – Golden Order of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia
  • 2012 – Order of St. Mary Magdalene, 2nd class, Orthodox Church of Poland
  • 2013 – Gold Cross of St. Paul, Orthodox Church of Greece
  • 2013 – Order of St. Constantine the Great, Serbian Orthodox Church
  • 2014 – Order of St. Sava, 2nd class, Serbian Orthodox Church
  • 2014 – Order of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, 1st class, Bulgarian Orthodox Church
  • 2016 – Order of St. Alexius of Moscow, 2nd class, Russian Orthodox Church

 

Secular awards

 

  • 1992 – Memorial Medal of January the 13th, Lithuania
  • 2005 – St. Macarius Prize, Russia
  • 2011 – Order of Friendship, Russia
  • 2013 – Order of Merit, 3rd class, Ukraine
  • 2013 – Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit, Hungary
  • 2014 – Order of the Legion of Honour, Mexico
  • 2016 – Order of Honour, Russia

 

E-mail: cancelar@mospatr.ru

 

Website: http://hilarion.ru