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Presentation of Chinese version of Patriarch …

Presentation of Chinese version of Patriarch Kirill’s book "In His Own Words"

On September 30, 2021, the Chinese version of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia’s book In His Own Word was presented at the Chinese Patriarchal Metochion in Moscow.

The event was led by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate and rector of Ss Cyril and Methodius Institute of Post-Graduate and Doctoral Studies.

Welcoming Metropolitan Hilarion and those present, the rector of the Chinese Patriarchal Metochion, Archpriest Igor Zuev spoke about the Metochion’s area of work at present.

Presenting the book by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, Metropolitan Hilarion said in particular,

“Being my predecessor as chairman of the Department of Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill (then metropolitan) spoke on many occasions about the Chinese area as a field specially important for our work, giving considerable attention to the development of Orthodoxy in China. Suffice it to see the love with which His Holiness treats Chinese tourists and greets then when visiting the St. Sergius Laura of the Trinity or sees them in the Kremlin after a divine service”, His Eminence testified.

After his election to the Patriarchal see, His Holiness the Patriarch kept giving continued attention to China; among special events was His Holiness’s visit to China in 2013, during which he not only prayed together with compatriots and Orthodox Chinese in churches in Beijing, Harbin and Shanghai, but also met with the Chairman of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, with whom he had a long and substantial talk.

By the decision of His Holiness, the Chinese Patriarchal Metochion was established and today it celebrates its 10th anniversary. “Almost from the very beginning of its work, the Chinese Metochion has been involved in publishing literature in the Chinese language, but this publishing program has received a new impetus thanks to the recently established Foundation for Supporting Christian Culture and Heritage, which I would like to thank for its manifold efforts for supporting Christians in China, for supporting the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church, for inter-Orthodox coopetition”, the DECR head noted.

Readers of this book will be able to familiarize themselves with Patriarch Kirill’s reflection on problems of today’s society and relationships between freedom and responsibility. How to preserve a balance between things universal and national? What should be the attitude of the Orthodox Church to the state and power? Can the church acknowledge freedom without moral responsibility, what is the nature of justice?

The number of topics treated by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill is vast. “He exposes them simply but with depth typical of his every statement”, Metropolitan Hilarion said noting that for the reader’s convenience the thoughts of His Holiness are organized in line with the calendar.

“It is not necessary to read this book successively. It can be read one chapter a day so that His Holiness’s thought may be present in the life of the reader”, the archpastor added.

“It is not accidental that we have assembled here precisely today, the commemoration day of Faith, Hope, Love and their mother Sophia. I know that often the Chinese women, when baptized, choose the names of these holy women martyrs, and tomorrow is the day of the formation of the People’s Republic of China - the main national holiday. Therefore, today is a special day”, Metropolitan Hilarion said.

His Eminence expressed a hope that the publishing project will continue developing, and the Orthodox faithful in China will have an access to the literature published by the Russian Orthodox Church not only through printed editions but also through an internet resource, which will be created with the aim to propagate this literature among the Chinese faithful.

In conclusion of his remarks, Metropolitan Hilarion thanked the rector, clergy and staff of the Chinese Patriarchal Metochion “for the work carried out among Chinese believers who permanently or temporarily reside in the Russian Federation and for the help we received in our work for support of the Orthodox faithful in the People’s Republic of China”.

The next speaker was Ms. M. V. Rumyantseva, M. Phil, assistant professor at Moscow State University. She spoke about her experience as editor of the books: “Ascetics for Laity” by Rev. Pavel Gumerov; a concise illustrated Russian-Chinese dictionary of Orthodox vocabulary. “Jesus Christ. Life and Teaching” by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the work on which continues.

Then Rev. Pavel Gumerov spoke about principal ideas of the book “Ascetics for the Laity”.

Director of the Confucius Institute of the Russian State University of the Humanities, T. V. Ivchenko spoke about the experience of the translation of “Foundations of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church” into Chinese.

After the meeting, rector of the metochion Archpriest Igor Zuev presented Metropolitan Hilarion with a Hierarchal Service Book and a token of the meeting.

Answering questions from mass media reporters after the presentation, Metropolitan Hilarion said in particular, “The Chinese Patriarchal Metochion was founded ten years ago as a bridge between the Russian Orthodox faithful and the Chinese Orthodox faithful. Some initiatives in this area, which arise among the Orthodox faithful in the Russian Federation, are implemented here.

The Orthodox mission in China today is special in that it is carried out in a limited framework. It roughly reminds us what happened in our own country some 40 years ago when the Church did exist, had a legal right to exist but her educational and missionary work was limited. We have established a standing mechanism of consultations with the People’s Republic of China, with the body which until recently was called the Directorate for Religious Affairs - now it is one of the parts of the Department for the United Front of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. We negotiated on ordering the life of the Orthodox faithful in Russia, on the opening of churches and the training of priests. This work is moving forward but rather slowly, while in Russia there are many Chinese people and nothing prevents us from promoting their enlightenment with the light of the faith of Christ”.

The presentation also included other editions of Orthodox literature translated into Chinese by the Chinese Patriarchal Metochion, among them “Catechesis: A Concise Guidebook on Orthodox Faith” by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, a Concise Illustrated Russian-Chinese Dictionary of Orthodox Vocabulary”, “Ascetics for the Laity” by Rev. Pavel Gumerov and others. The publication of these books became possible thanks to the assistance of the Foundation for the Support of Christian Culture and Heritage.

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