Home page News
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk speaks at&nbs…

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk speaks at the opening of the 4th European Orthodox-Catholic Forum in Minsk

On 2 June 2014, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), arrived in Minsk with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to take part in the 4th European Orthodox-Catholic Forum.

Metropolitan Hilarion is accompanied by hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), DECR secretary for Inter-Christian Relations, and hierodeacon Nikolai (Ono).

Upon his arrival in the capital of Belarus, Metropolitan Hilarion visited the Minsk Diocesan Administration and met with Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarch Exarch of All Belarus.

The 4th European Orthodox-Catholic Forum on ‘Religion and Cultural Pluralism: Challenges for the Christian Churches in Europe’ opened in the conference hall at the Memorial Church of All the Saints in Minsk in the evening of June 2. Taking part in the forum are bishops of the Orthodox and Catholic jurisdictions of Europe, clergymen and theologians.

Mr. Leonid Guliako, envoy for religious affairs and nationalities of the Republic of Belarus, read out greetings from the Byelorussian President, Alexander Lukashenko.

Metropolitan Philaret (Vakhromeyev), Honourary Exarch of All Belarus, greeted the delegates, noting the importance of the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, and wished them fruitful work.

Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima (Ecumenical Patriarchate), co-chairmen of the Forum from the Orthodox side, read out greeting from Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

Message from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, with greetings from His Holiness Pope Francis, was read out by Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, Apostolic Nuncio to Belarus.

Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Slutsk greeted the participants on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church. He called the work for the preservation of moral evangelical values a major task of the present state of the Orthodox-Catholic cooperation. The fact of holding the dialogue in Belarus is symbolic, as Belarus has given a traditional example of inter-confessional peace and successful cooperation among representatives of different confessions.

Metropolitan Hilarion noted in his welcoming speech that the meetings of representatives of the Orthodox and Catholic jurisdictions of Europe, the first of which took place in 2008, have become quite regular. He underscored that in the present situation we cannot limit ourselves merely to the discussion of theoretical issues, but have to interact on a practical level too. He said that the tragedy in Ukraine has not only political, but also religious dimension. Sadly, the Greek Catholics have played ‘a very destructive role in allowing this situation to develop. The words of their leading archbishop, hierarchs and clergy and an extremely politicized position have brought about the polarization of society and a worsening of the conflict which has already led to numerous victims.’

Metropolitan Hilarion continued to say that such actions ‘have caused great damage not only to the Ukraine and her citizens, but also to the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue. All of this has put us back a great distance, reminding us of the times when the Orthodox and Catholics viewed each other not as friends but as rivals.’

‘Today once again it has been all the more obvious what the Orthodox knew - that the Unia was and, unfortunately, remains a special project of the Catholic Church aimed at undermining canonical Orthodoxy. It was here, in the country of Byelorussia, that the notorious 'the Union of Brest' of 1596 was concluded and which brought untold suffering to the Orthodox population of these lands.’

Metropolitan Hilarion appealed to all partners in the dialogue ‘to do all that is possible to cool down the “hotheads” among the Uniates, to halt the actions of the Greek Catholics in making the crisis in the Ukraine worse.’

He thinks that ‘today one part of the Catholic Church is employing all its strength, talents and resources in strengthening Orthodox-Catholic interaction, while another (even though it enjoys autonomous status) is doing everything possible, as in former unfortunate times, to drive the wedge of distrust and enmity between Orthodox and Catholics.’

Addressing the participants also were Archbishop-Metropolitan Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk and Mogilev; Bishop Alexander Kashkevich of Grodno, chairman of the Catholic Episcopal Conference of Belarus; and Cardinal Péter Erdö, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, co-chairman of the forum from the Catholic side. He donated a particle of relics of St. Stephan, King of Hungary, to the Byelorussian Exarchate.

The opening session was concluded by a concert performed by a male choir of the Memorial Church of All the Saints and by a reception given on behalf of the Byelorussian Exarchate.

***

The European Orthodox-Catholic Forum was instituted in 2008 on the initiative of Cardinal Péter Erdö, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, and Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria (now Metropolitan of Volokolamsk and chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations).

Discussed at the three previous forums held in Trent, Rhodes and Lisbon, were the problems of the family, Church-state relations, and the economic crisis and poverty.

The Forum will work till June 5.

Share:
Patriarchal congratulation to Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk on the 20th anniversary of his episcopal ministry

14.01.2022

On the feast of the Nativity of Christ, the Primate of the Russian Church celebrated great vespers at the Church of Christ the Savioir

07.01.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: We will stand up for the Patriarchate of Jerusalem

07.01.2022

Christmas Message by Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Russia

06.01.2022

Burial takes place of archpriest Nikolai Gundyaev

02.01.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill conducts a funeral service for Archpriest Nikolay Gundyaev

02.01.2022

The Holy Synod resolves to form a Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa

29.12.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia holds a phone conversation with His Beatitude Tikhon, Metropolitan of All America and Canada.

29.12.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill presides over the last session of the Holy Synod in 2021

29.12.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill presides over joint session of the Hoy Synod and the Supreme Church Council of the Russian Orthodox Church

28.12.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia congratulated Pope Francis on his 85th birthday.

17.12.2021

Condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill over the tragic consequences of a tornado in a number of US states

13.12.2021

Congratulations of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill to O. Scholz on his election as Federal Chancellor of Germany

08.12.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill sent a message to the former Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel

08.12.2021

Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates at the Church of Christ the Saviour on the commemoration day of St. Alexander Nevsky

06.12.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion attends opening of Valery Khalilov Music Festival

17.01.2022

DECR Chairman meets with Croatia’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

17.01.2022

DECR chairman gives assessment to the first stage of the negotiations on security between representatives of the Russian Federation and the West

16.01.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: Orthodoxy is a traditional confession in Kazakhstan professed by several million people

16.01.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: the Church and traditional confessions have done everything possible to appease the situation in Kazakhstan

16.01.2022

A new musical composition dedicated to St. Alexander Nevsky is performed in Moscow.

16.01.2022

On the day of the 20th anniversary of his episcopal consecration, DECR chairman celebrates Liturgy at the church of Our Lady the Joy to All the Afflicted in Moscow

14.01.2022

Patriarchal congratulation to Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk on the 20th anniversary of his episcopal ministry

14.01.2022

“The tasks before us are large and interesting,” Metropolitan Hilarion said about the work of the Scientific and Educational Theological Association

13.01.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: Churches will have to make non-standard decisions

12.01.2022

DECR chairman meets with Primate of the Armenian Catholic Church

10.01.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion presents a state award to the DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations

10.01.2022

On the feast of the Nativity of Christ, the Primate of the Russian Church celebrated great vespers at the Church of Christ the Savioir

07.01.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: Everything needs to be done to preserve Christian presence in the Holy Land

07.01.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates Divine service on the feast of the Nativity of Christ

07.01.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has commanded us to love every human being

31.10.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: on the Feast of the Holy Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos we glorify the heavenly intercession of the Mother of God

14.10.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Many things in a person's life depend on faith

29.08.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Spirit is the main treasure of the Christian soul

01.08.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Holiness is a constant striving to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ

27.06.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us

07.03.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents

24.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins

19.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life

17.01.2021

On commemoration day of St. Catherine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk officiated at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr In-the-Fields  the representation of the Orthodox Church in America

07.12.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people

29.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates on commemoration day of St. Varlaam of Khutyn at the church of ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God

19.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We should remember that the life of each human being is in the hands of God

06.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: For God there is nothing impossible

25.10.2020

Metropoplitan Hilarion: The cross which was an instrument of dishonourable execution becomes the symbol of salvation for millions of people

27.09.2020

Page is available in the following languages
Feedback

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message
Рус Укр Eng Deu Ελλ Fra Ita Бълг ქარ Срп Rom عرب