Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary attends presentation of Metropolitan Hilarion’s book
On 27 November 2019, Metropolitan Hilarion’s book ‘Catechism. A Short Guide to the Orthodox Faith’ in the Hungarian language was presented at the Russian Cultural Centre in Budapest, Hungary.
Mr. Zsolt Semjén, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, was among those attending the presentation, along with Metropolitan Anthony of Korsun and Western Europe, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Administration for Institutions Abroad; Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov), vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; Rev. Vilmos Fischl, Secretary General of the Ecumenical Council of Hungary; participants of the 10th round-table conference ‘The Russian Orthodox Church and Compatriots,’ representatives of Hungarian public and parishioners of Orthodox churches in Hungary.
Metropolitan Hilarion addressed the participants, saying in particular:
‘The book presented today is called “Catechism. A Short Guide to the Orthodox Faith.’ It is addressed to those preparing to be baptized, the newly baptized and all those who wish to know their faith better.
‘I wrote this book in response to many requests of the believers. People who want to be baptized or baptize their children and even priests involved in catechization, often asked me to recommend them a book. There are many books, but I have not found in modern literature the one with a summary of the fundamentals of Christian dogma, Christian morals and church order.
‘Certainly, there is a immortal creation by the great saint of Russian Church, Metropolitan Philaret (Drozdov) called “Christian Catechism of the Orthodox Catholic Eastern Greco-Russian Church’ which answers many questions. But the book was written two hundred years ago, when people even thought differently, and many topics had not retained their relevance and significance, while the topics high on the agenda now had not existed at that time. I decided to use a simple treatment not to prove something to somebody, but to present the fundamentals in an intelligible form.
‘I deem it important to put illustrations in the book as it is necessary for those who are just coming to know the traditions of Orthodoxy to have visual images that would help them comprehend that what they have read. I wanted to show by these means that Orthodoxy is not an ancient preserved in aspic tradition, but the one living and developing.’
Metropolitan Hilarion thanked all those who translated the book into the Hungarian and made it print-ready and expressed his hope that the Hungarians Orthodox Christians will find the book useful. Then he addressed Mr. Zsolt Semjén, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, saying:
‘I would like to thank you not only for coming to the presentation, but first and foremost for attention, which the statesmen, including you, pay to our Orthodox Church.’ Metropolitan Hilarion underscored that thanks to the Hungarian government the restoration of the Cathedral of the Dormition is being completed, historical church buildings in Miskolc and Tokaj are being restored, and a new church building is being built in Héviz, where a large Russian-speaking community resides.
Deputy Prime Minister Semjén conveyed greetings from Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to Metropolitan Hilarion and said that the author of the book explains Orthodox tradition in understandable modern terms and this is very well perceived by readers. He added: ‘I thank you, Your Eminence for this spiritual food on behalf of all Hungarian Orthodox and non-Orthodox C Christians.’
At the end of the presentation, the Hungarian Vox Mirabilis chamber choir sang Orthodox church hymns.