Home page News
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk comments on&n…

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk comments on reports about Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement

On February 11, 2013, the chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, made comments to ITAR-TASS news agency concerning that coming reports about the retirement of the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI.

 

Reports about the retirement of Pope Benedict XVI have proved to be unexpected even for his closest associates. Cardinal Sodano described it as ‘a thunder out of a clear sky’. Really, there have been no precedents of this kind in the modern history of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II remained in office to the end despite his serious health problems.

 

Meanwhile, the office of the Roman Pontiff, just as that of any head of a Church, presupposes active work. It is not a ceremonial office. If one’s age and health prove to be an obstacle for effective work, the head of a Church may decide to retire. In recent years, the Catholic Church has come to face very serious challenges which require new incentives to come from the See of Rome. Perhaps, precisely this has made the pope to give way to a younger and more dynamic prelate to be elected by the conclave of cardinals. The Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to leave his office in the present situation may be seen as an act of personal courage and humbleness.

 

We are grateful to Pope Benedict XVI for his understanding of the problems which impede the full normalization of Orthodox-Catholic relations, especially in such regions as western Ukraine. Only yesterday I spoke about Pope Benedict XVI in my talk on Russia-24 TV network with the new Russian ambassador to the Holy See, A. A. Avdeyev. I pointed out that relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church have acquired positive dynamic after his ascension to the See of Rome. He enjoys great respect in the Christian world. He is a prominent theologian, who is well versed in the tradition of the Orthodox Church while having the sensitivity that makes it possible for him to build relations with Orthodox Church on due level.

 

My personal meetings and talks with Pope Benedict XVI remain memorable for me. There have been three meetings since I was appointed chairman of the DECR. In my talks with the pontiff I was always amazed by his calm and thoughtful reaction, his sensitivity to issues we raised, his desire to solve together the problems arising in our relations. Specifically, I set forth in detail to the pope my vision of the problems we have encountered in pan-Orthodox – Catholic dialogue (I made a report about these problems to the recent Bishops’ Council, and it made appropriate decisions). My attitude to the progress of this dialogue is very critical, which I frankly stated to the pope and he always showed understanding.

 

Even before his ascension to the See of Rome, Cardinal Ratzinger declared war on ‘the dictatorship of relativism’ so typical for the Western society today. It immediately made him unpopular in the eyes of secular politicians and journalists. Pope Benedict XVI is not a media star. He is a man of the Church. In the mass media, he is continuously criticized for traditionalism and conservatism, but precisely these merits of his are of credit for millions of Christians, both Catholic and non-Catholic, those who seek to preserve traditional Christian spiritual and moral values.

 

It remains only to hope that his successor will continue walking along the same path and that Orthodox-Catholic relations will continue developing progressively for the common good of the whole Christendom.

 

DECR Communication Service

Share:
Condolences of Patriarch Kirill over the death of believers in the fire that broke out in Abu-Seifein Church in Cairo

15.08.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with the ambassador of Jordan to Russia

29.07.2022

On the Day of the Baptism of Rus’, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Moscow Kremlin

28.07.2022

Patriarch Kirill meets with clergymen of the Diocese of Singapore and students from Indonesia

21.07.2022

Meeting of the Commission on the status of the Diocese of Vilnius and Lithuiania

06.07.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill answered questions from participants in the Ninth Faith and Word festival

22.10.2021

Tripartite meeting held by religious leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia

13.10.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill's congratulations to the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America on his namesake day

09.10.2021

Condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the death of people as a result of fire at a hospital in Constanța (Romania)

04.10.2021

Congratulations from Patriarch Kirill to Patriarch Daniel of Romania on anniversary of his enthronement

30.09.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill presents church awards to DECR chairman and his vice-chairmen

27.09.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: Patriarch Bartholomew has lapsed into schism

27.09.2021

Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church convenes for second day of work

24.09.2021

Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church completes first day of session

23.09.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill presides at a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church

23.09.2021

The DECR Chairman expressed his condolences over the tragedy in the church of Abu-Seifein in Cairo

15.08.2022

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk meets with Pope Francis of Rome

05.08.2022

DECR Chairman meets with Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States

04.08.2022

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk congratulated the Primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church on the 30th anniversary of his enthronement

02.08.2022

On the Day of the Baptism of Rus’, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Moscow Kremlin

28.07.2022

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk heads liturgy at Moscow representation of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch

26.07.2022

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk meets with Consul of Lebanon in Moscow

22.07.2022

DECR chairman meets with Argentinian ambassador to the Russian Federation

20.07.2022

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk presents Patriarchal award to Russian ambassador to China

19.07.2022

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk celebrates Liturgy at Moscow Metochion of the Serbian Orthodox Church

12.07.2022

DECR Chairman meets with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs

11.07.2022

DECR chairman meets with representative of Kirche in Not foundation

11.07.2022

Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Anthony celebrates Liturgy on the patronal feast day of the Church of Saint John the Baptist ‘na Presne’

07.07.2022

Meeting of the Commission on the status of the Diocese of Vilnius and Lithuiania

06.07.2022

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk meets with Apostolic Nuncio to France

04.07.2022

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

Metropolitan Hilarion: Eucharist is the wedding feast, to which Lord Jesus Christ invites each of us

13.09.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Faith alone is not enough for salvation

30.08.2020

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