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On March 31, 2009, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia relieved Bishop Hilarion of his duty as administrator of the dioceses of Vienna and Austria and Hungary and appointed him chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations and permanent member of the Holy Synod with the title of Bishop of Volokolamsk, Vicar to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk

Basic Information

Founded by a decision of the Holy Synod of April 4, 1946. It is the oldest synodal institution of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The DECS is among the executive bodies of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod. Its status and tasks are defined by the Statute of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Statute of the Department. The Department is accountable to His Holiness the Patriarch and the Holy Synod, which annually approve the program of its activities.

The chairman of the Department for External Church Relations has the status of a permanent member of the Holy Synod.

Fields of concern

The DECR maintains the Russian Orthodox Church’s relations with:

  • Local Orthodox Churches

  • Non-Orthodox churches and Christian associations

  • Non-Christian religious communities

  • Governmental, parliamentary, public organizations abroad

  • Inter-governmental, religious and public international organizations.

In addition, by the Holy Synod decision of April 20, 2005, a Commission was formed under the Department for External Church Relations for the Affairs of Old Rite Parishes and Relations with the Old Believers communities.

The DECR is responsible for informing His Holiness the Patriarch and the Holy Synod about events and activities taking place outside the Russian Orthodox Church and affecting its interests and for drafting church-wise documents and decisions affecting the sphere of inter-Orthodox, inter-Christian, interreligious, international relations and other issues within the terms of reference of the Department. 

The DECR runs a website and publishes the scientific-theological and church-public academic magazine ‘Church and Time’.

The leadership of the DECR

DECR Chairman

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk

Vice-chairmen:

Archbishop Leonid of Vladikavkaz and Alania

Archpriest Nikolay Balashov

Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov)

The structure of the Department

The structure of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations includes the following;

  • Secretariat for inter-Orthodox relations

  • Secretariat for Interreligious Relations

  • Secretariat for the far abroad

  • Protocol section

  • Communication Service

  • Publications section

  • Language Service

There is also a Commission for the Affairs of Old Rite Parishes and Relations with the Old Believers communities


Contacts

The Russian Orthodox Church helps the Patriarchate of Jerusalem to build a church

01.03.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Patriarch of Constantinople has no flock in Ukraine

27.02.2021

Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem: our common commitment is to gather for prayer and fellowship

24.02.2021

Influence of pandemic on service of Churches in Russia and Germany is subject of discussion at online conference

24.02.2021

Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos: Russian Church never interfered in affairs of Church of Cyprus

24.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Christians in the Middle East need our compassion and prayer

22.02.2021

Hierarchical Liturgy celebrated for the parish ousted from its church building in Zakarpatska Oblast

22.02.2021

Congress of representatives of captured churches held at Kiev Lavra of the Caves

22.02.2021

Diocese of the Philippines and Vietnam organises hot meals for underprivileged children in Bacoor

22.02.2021

Patriarch Kirill congratulates Metropolitan Porfirije on his election to the Serbian Patriarchal See

18.02.2021

Consecration of a new church built instead of that captured by schismatics at Zavoloka village

17.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion spoke at an online seminar of the International Hellenic University

16.02.2021

"Freedom and Responsibility as Viewed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill". Address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (International Hellenic University online seminar, 16th February 2021)

16.02.2021

Representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Holy See discuss cooperation in cultural and social spheres

12.02.2021

Christian response to the pandemic challenge discussed at online-conference

12.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Restoration of unity in our common Orthodox family is possible only through the denial of false ecclesiology

01.02.2021

Interview of Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk to Romfea church news agency

26.01.2021

Patriarch Kirill Gives Christmas Interview to Rossia TV

07.01.2021

Bishop Irinej of Bačka: No one has a right to trifle with centuries-old canonical order of the Orthodox Church

05.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Constantinople’s papist claims are groundless

06.12.2020

Metropolitan Antony of Borispol and Brovary: Metropolitan Amfilohije was surrounded with love of all Montenegrins

09.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Archbishop of Cyprus can be no longer liturgically mentioned in the Russian Orthodox Church

24.10.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We have supported and will support the canonical Church of Montenegro

04.08.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: For the Orthodox Church, Hagia Sophia church is the same as St. Peter’s Cathedral for the Catholics

17.07.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Decision to transform Hagia Sophia into a mosque is a blow to the entire world Orthodoxy

10.07.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Any attempt to change the present status of Hagia Sophia will violate the interreligious balances established in Turkey

09.06.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: consultations in “Amman format” will continue

29.02.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Absence of particular Churches from Amman will not make the meeting less significant

26.02.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We hope that the meeting in Amman will make the beginning of other similar meetings that our Orthodox family needs so much now

21.02.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We hope that heads of Orthodox Churches will meet

22.01.2020

"Freedom and Responsibility as Viewed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill". Address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (International Hellenic University online seminar, 16th February 2021)

16.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk gave an online lecture for the Theological Institute of St. John of Damascus, Balamand University

31.01.2021

Address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at a session of the Interreligious Council of Russia attended by Mr. Miguel Moratinos, High-Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

21.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk greets participants and guests of XIV International Festival ‘Russia Abroad’

08.11.2020

Opening address of Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk to participants in the panel discussion on Russki Mir Online

03.11.2020

Speech by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the session of Supreme Church Council on 11th December 2019

11.12.2019

Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary attends presentation of Metropolitan Hilarion’s book

28.11.2019

Address by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia at the opening of the 2nd Summit of World Religious Leaders in Baku

14.11.2019

Presentation by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at the Budapest Forum for Christian Communicators

06.09.2019

Metropolitan Hilarion attends theological conference devoted to St. Paul

27.06.2019

Archpriest Nikolay Danilevich: The situation in Ukraine is not at all such as being presented to Patriarch Bartholomew and as he declares to the world

07.06.2019

Paper read by Bishop Joanikije of Budimlja and Niksic (Serbian Orthodox Church) at international academic reflection-action conference on Violations of Rights of Believers in Ukraine

05.06.2019

Russia - Ukraine - Belarus: One Spiritual Space

02.06.2019

Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol: Our faithful feel betrayed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate

26.11.2018

Metropolitan Hilarion: Patriarch Bartholomew’s actions do not heal the schism but rather deepen it

14.11.2018

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