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Metropolitan Hilarion on the preparation of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.mospat.ru/en/2011/11/03/news50931/ Metropolitan Hilarion made doctor of theology honoris causa by St. Petersburg Theological Academy 3.11.2011 On 2
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3 2:55 PM
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      Metropolitan Hilarion made doctor of theology honoris causa by St.
      Petersburg Theological Academy

      On 2 November 2011, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of
      the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations
      (DECR), visited the St. Petersburg Theological Academy with the blessing
      of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and at the
      invitation of Metropolitan Vladimir of St. Petersburg and Ladoga.

      Metropolitan Hilarion met with the members of the Academic Board,
      faculty and students of the Academy. Attending the meeting were
      Archbishop Ionafan of Tulchin and Bratslav and Bishop Amvrosiy of
      Gatchina, rector of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy and Seminary.
      Metropolitan Hilarion is accompanied by the DECR vice-chairman, hegumen
      Philaret (Bulekov); archpriest Vladimir Shmaliy, vice-rector of the Ss
      Cyril and Methodius Postgraduate School; and Director of the St. Gregory
      the Theologian Charity, Leonid Sevastianov.

      Bishop Amvrosiy of Gatchina introduced Metropolitan Hilarion to the
      audience and enumerated his scholarly titles and degrees. He said that
      the Academic Board of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy and
      Seminary decided to confer a title of doctor of theology honoris causa
      on Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk in consideration of his numerous
      theological transactions and his extensive scholarly and theological work.

      Archpriest Kirill Kopeikin, secretary of the Academic Board, read out
      Metropolitan Hilarion’s curriculum vita, and Bishop Amvrosiy of Gatchina
      handed a cross and diploma of the doctor of theology to Metropolitan
      Hilarion and gave him a book with a dedicatory inscription of
      Metropolitan Vladimir of St/. Petersburg and Ladoga.

      The DECR chairman thanked the Academic Board for the privilege of being
      made doctor of theology and delivered a lecture, which he dedicated to
      the memory of Metropolitan Nikodim.

      Metropolitan Hilarion spoke of the inter-Orthodox cooperation in the
      preparation to the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, the
      pre-Council process and expectations.

      He noted that preparations for the Council cause bewilderment in certain
      circles. Some marginal mass media launched a campaign against the
      convening of the Council, while some websites misinform the public by
      citing the sayings of the Holy Fathers arbitrarily taken out from the
      context. The believers are frightened that the Council will be an
      “anti-Christ” council as its decisions would run contrary to the
      teaching of the Church, its dogmas, canons, and rules.

      “Such arguments have no ground and indicate the lack of knowledge or a
      deliberate distortion of historical facts and the tradition of the
      Church,” Metropolitan Hilarion said.

      He assured all those doubting that the Council will not be the Eighth
      Ecumenical Council and will not rescind or review the decisions of the
      Seven Ecumenical Councils. “The Council will not cancel fasts, nor will
      it introduce married episcopate or allow a second marriage to clergyman.
      It will not recognize the authority of the Pope of Rome over the
      Orthodox Church or sign union with the Catholics. The long and short of
      it is that the Council will do nothing of that what some “defenders of
      Orthodoxy” fear, displaying zeal that exceeds reason. In case something
      adverse to the spirit and the letter of the Seven Ecumenical Council
      happens, the Russian Orthodox Church will renounce this Council and its
      decisions as she renounced the Council of Ferrara and Florence in 1441.
      I believe, however, that the other Local Orthodox Church will renounce
      it, too.”

      Metropolitan Hilarion hopes that in case the Local Orthodox Churches
      surmount internal differences and ‘with one heart and one mouth’ witness
      their inherent unity, the Council will be an important and remarkable
      event. ‘Undoubtedly, it will strengthen Orthodox cooperation and will
      help to formulate and voice the pan-Orthodox position on a number of
      topical issues, thus consolidating the Orthodox Church and making it
      capable of meeting the challenges of the time. The Holy and Great
      Council of the Orthodox Church could be a real Triumph of Orthodoxy
      provided that convictions, traditions and views of all Local Orthodox
      Churches are taken into account in the spirit of brotherly love and
      mutual respect,” the DECR chairman said.
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