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Metropolitan Hilarion Officiates at Feast-Day in Cannes

CANNES: November 24, 2011
Metropolitan Hilarion Officiates at Feast-Day Celebrations at Archangel Michael Church in Cannes

From the Synod website

On Monday, November 21, 2011, the feast day of Archangel Michael and the Bodiless Heavenly Hosts, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, celebrated Divine Liturgy at Archangel Michael Church in Cannes, France. He was joined in the service by Archimandrite Ieronim (Shurygin); Archimandrite Vasily (Pasquiet); Protopriest Leonid Kalinin; Priest Jean Gautier; Priest Alexander Korzhenevsky; Priest Anthony Odaisky, along with Deacon Eugene Kallaur. The choir sang joyously under the direction of Protopriest Michael Boikov, the Parish Rector, who is the official representative of the First Hierarch at the church.

At the end of the service, His Eminence delivered a sermon, then headed a moleben with a procession of the cross around the church. Before the veneration of the cross, His Eminence congratulated the parish rector on his namesday, wishing him strength, health and abundant mercies from the Lord in his service in this historic church. In memory of this day, Vladyka Hilarion gave Fr Michael an ancient icon depicting this feast day.

At the trapeza, organized by the parish sisterhood in the church yard, the Primate of the Church Abroad continued to spend time with the clergymen and parishioners in a friendly atmosphere.

The following day, having once again venerated the holy relics of Archangel Michael Church and the graves of Russian Orthodox Christians, His Eminence and his delegation departed for New York.

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Запись богослужения в день 65-летия Патриарха

Москва, 20 ноября 2011 года. Богослужение возглавили Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл, Святейший и Блаженнейший Католикос-Патриарх всея Грузии Илия II, Блаженнейший Митрополит Варшавский и всей Польши Савва и Блаженнейший Митрополит Чешских земель и Словакии Христофор в сослужении архипастырей и духовенства Поместных Православных Церквей.

Moscow, 20 November 2011. Worship led by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, His Holiness and Beatitude, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II, Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland Sawa and Metropolitan of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, along with Christopher in the bishops and clergy of the local Orthodox Churches.

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Video from Kursk-Root Icon visit last Saturday

On Saturday 5 November 2011 the Holy Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God was brought to the Protection of the Holy Virgin parish in Cabramatta.

The Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad together with the rector Archpriest Boris Ignatievsky, Deacon Ivan Bots and visiting clergy. His Grace Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada was also present.

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Проповедь в день иконы «Всех скорбящих Радость»

Москва, 6 ноября 2011 года. В неделю 21-ю по Пятидесятнице и праздник иконы Божией Матери «Всех скорбящих Радость» Святейший Патриарх Кирилл совершил Божественную литургию в храме в честь иконы Божией Матери «Всех скорбящих Радость» на Большой Ордынке. За Литургией Предстоятель Русской Церкви возглавил хиротонию архимандрита Гурия (Федорова) во епископа Арсеньевского и Дальнегорского.

Moscow, 6 November 2011. In the week 21 th Sunday after Pentecost and the feast of Our Lady “All who Sorrow” His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Divine Liturgy at the church of the Mother of God “All who Sorrow” in Bolshaya Ordynka. During the Liturgy the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church led the consecration of Archimandrite Gury (Fedorov), Bishop Arsenyev and Dalnegorsk.

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Kursk-Root Icon at Holy Protection Church Cabramatta

From the Diocese website

On Saturday 5 November 2011 the Holy Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God was brought to the Protection of the Holy Virgin parish in Cabramatta.

The Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad together with the rector Archpriest Boris Ignatievsky, Deacon Ivan Bots and visiting clergy. His Grace Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada was also present.

At the appointed time His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion ordained to the Holy Diaconate Sub-deacon Andrew Morgan to serve at the Protection parish.

In the afternoon the Holy Kursk-Root icon left Sydney to travel to the parishes of other states, firstly to the Dormition Church in Dandenong and then to the Joy of All Who Sorrow Church in Geelong for its Parish Feast Day on Sunday 24 October/6 November 2011.

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Second Episcopal Assembly

Communique of the Second Episcopal Assembly of all canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania

from the Diocese website

The members of the 2nd Episcopal Assembly of all canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania welcomed once again the opportunity to meet in Sydney from October 16-17, 2011, under the chairmanship ex officio of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia.

The Assembly commenced with prayer at the central offices of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, Redfern.

Present were: His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos (Ecumenical Patriarchate – Australia), His Eminence Metropolitan Paul (Antiochian Patriarchate), His Grace Bishop Irinej (Serbian Church), His Grace Bishop Mihail (Romanian Church), His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilochios (Ecumenical Patriarchate – New Zealand), His Grace Bishop Ezekiel (Assistant Bishop), His Grace Bishop Seraphim (Assistant Bishop), His Grace Bishop Nikandros (Assistant Bishop), His Grace Bishop Iakovos (Assistant Bishop), the Very Rev. Father Michael Protopopov (representing His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church) who read a letter of greeting from His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion) and Rev. Father Michael Smolynec (representing His Eminence Archbishop Ioan of Parnassou of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Diaspora).

The Bishops continued the work of the first Assembly, held in Sydney in October last year, and heard the Reports of the respective Committees.

It was unanimously agreed:

1. To arrange an annual Synaxis meeting of Clergy of all canonical jurisdictions for the purpose of forming brotherly relations and to have collaboration in carrying out the decisions of the Assembly on a local level;

2. To launch an official website of the Assembly that will inform our faithful of its work and provide a source of information, that would include a catalogue of canonical Clergyand thereby knowledge of schismatic groups;

3. To seek legal opinion with regard to the suggested promulgation of a Statute for the Episcopal Assembly of Oceania;

4. To organise a common celebration to mark the 1,700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan in 2013;

5. To respond formally to the Healthcare Chaplaincy Council of Victoria affirming the position of the canonical Churches in relation to Hospital Chaplaincy, without ignoring the pastoral dimension of ministering to all infirm Orthodox, irrespective of national backgrounds; and

6. To bring together prominent Orthodox theologians, medical doctors, psychologists, ethicists, legal and public policy experts to enable the Hierarchs of Oceania to issue responsible joint statements with regard to the ethical dimensions of proposed Government legislation.

The Assembly received a Report on the draft Act of Parliament for the recognition of all canonical Orthodox Churches in New Zealand, and specifically with regard to the registration of Marriage Celebrants.

Another Report was received from the Committee on Campus Ministry, which met under the co-Chairmanship of His Grace Bishop Irinej and His Grace Bishop Ezekiel, the primary focus of which was to develop Orthodox Chaplaincy in tertiary educational institutions. The Assembly confirmed the proposal of the Committee to appoint His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis to Chair the Committee.

The Assembly reaffirms its unity in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in brotherly love, committing ourselves to work together for the good of the holy Orthodox Church and its children in Australia and throughout Oceania.

Dated 17th October, 2011

His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos (Ecumenical Patriarchate – Australia)

His Eminence Metropolitan Paul (Antiochian Patriarchate)

His Grace Bishop Irinej (Serbian Church)

His Grace Bishop Mihail (Romanian Church)

His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilochios (Ecumenical Patriarchate – New Zealand)

His Grace Bishop Ezekiel (Assistant Bishop)

His Grace Bishop Seraphim (Assistant Bishop)

His Grace Bishop Nikandros (Assistant Bishop)

His Grace Bishop Iakovos (Assistant Bishop)

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Проповедь после освящения храма в Троице-Лыково

Москва, 30 октября 2011 года. В воскресенье днем по окончании Божественной литургии Святейший Патриарх Кирилл посетил храм Живоначальной Троицы и православную гимназию при Успенском храме в Троице-Лыково.

Moscow, 30 October 2011. On Sunday afternoon at the end of Divine Liturgy, His Holiness visited the temple of the Holy Trinity Orthodox School and the Assumption Church  Trinity-Lykovo.

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Vladyka Mark – Visit to Kazakhstan

From the Synod website

In September, 2011, a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia brought the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign” to Kazakhstan. During the icon’s stay in Almaty, Archbishop Mark, who headed the delegation, granted an interview to the magazine Light of Orthodoxy in Kazakhstan.

— Vladyka, tell us please about the life of the Russian Orthodox Church in Germany. Who comprise the majority of your parishioners, Russian emigres or native Germans? What language is used during divine services?

— Until 1990, our parishioners were mostly emigres of the first and second waves, that is, those who fled Russia after 1917 and after World War II. Many of them gradually moved to America and Australia, so our parishes began to decline by 1990. When the borders opened, Germans from the Soviet Union were allowed to relocate to Germany, so there was an infusion of new blood, mostly from Kazakhstan. Before 1990, the language of our divine services was half Church Slavonic and half German, but by the early 1990’s we started serving mostly in Church Slavonic.

But now we again have a tendency towards using German, because the children of the immigrants don’t have the same motivation to preserve the Russian language and culture as the old emigres did, and for this reason we serve partly in German. It is usually like this: a priest serves in Slavonic, while the Gospel, Epistle and one or two litanies are read in German. In some parishes it’s the opposite, once a month they serve in German, but the Epistle and some litanies are read in Slavonic.

As far as Germans who have converted to Orthodoxy are concerned, they are few, but a small percentage exists in every parish. There are also people among our parishioners who come to Germany temporarily, for work or school: college students, professors and scholars.

— Do you have converts to Orthodoxy from Catholicism or Protestantism?

— There are such people, but they represent a very small percentage. Our priests are working in this direction. We have a yearly seminar for people who are interested in Orthodoxy, and we acquaint them with our lives and some of them accept Holy Baptism.

— You minister to parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia not only in Germany, but in Great Britain, too. Is the church situation there different?

— Yes, it is different. As I said, in Germany, there is a large percentage of parishioners who are from Kazakhstan, so-called Russian Germans. You don’t find these people in Great Britain. There, the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church have a small number of Greek Russians, but not many at all. Mostly these are people who moved to the country for various reasons, mostly for work, some of them moved there permanently, others only for a time.

— You were born and reared in a Protestant family. How is it that you, a German by blood, became a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church?

— When I was a young man, I studied in the philological department, Slavistics and Old Russian, Ancient Russian literature, Church Slavonic. That is how I became acquainted with the spiritual literature of Old Rus. A greater impression was made on me by the works of St Nilus of Sora. When I read them, I understood that I must become a monk, choose the path of service to the Church. I grasped that the Truth was in Orthodox Christianity. That is why there was no question that I must leave Protestantism.

But I did not immediately become a monk, I prepared for many years: I would travel to Mt Athos, and learned a great deal from the old Russian startsy there. Since we needed priests in Germany, I was ordained to the priesthood. I did not dream of becoming a hierarch, but that was what the Church decided.

— You actively participated in the process of reunification of the Russian Church Abroad with the Moscow Patriarchate. What changed in your life after this finally took place?

— It is very significant that we now have the opportunity to have such close contact, to pray together, to serve together. This is the most important thing. We now participate in all the events of Russia, we participate in the Councils of Bishops. I think this is of great importance.

— We know that after the reunification of the Churches, some members of ROCOR did not recognize the unification and preferred an independent path in church life, for instance, Lesna Convent in France. What can be said now about this group?

— Sadly, these people are so blinded, so fanatical, that they are incapable of recognizing the actual situation in Russia, in the Russian Church, and so they have torn themselves away from the Church. This causes us great pain, because among them are parishes, monasteries that were dear to us. They broke off, without seeking counsel, some even giving no hint that they were disturbed by the process of reunification, simply declaring suddenly that they are no longer with us. A schism such as this in any organism is painful, and, of course, many of us suffer greatly from what happened. On the other hand, in numbers, this is a very small percentage and does not represent the real face of our Church.

— Is this your first visit to Kazakhstan?

— Yes, the first.

— What are your impressions?

— I had read a great deal about Kazakhstan and also heard much from my parishioners. But one gets a more profound impression in person. I must say that I was very happy to have the possibility to come to know the believers of your country. In Astana and Almaty, we met civil representatives and I understood that the attitude towards the Church and the faithful is positive here. This is very important for us. I think that many of those who left this country in the 1990’s did so to escape what they feared would be heightened tension with the government. At the same time, as I see it now, this relationship is very positive. I think that the Orthodox people here have a future and must hold fast to their faith, their rules, their way of life.

Visiting the expanses of Kazakhstan, I feel in my heart that this is truly an antimension under the open skies. Every populated place here is connected with the name of a New Martyr or Confessor, every kilometer of Kazakhstan soil was bathed with the blood of those suffering for Christ.

Karaganda occupies a special place on the spiritual map of the country, having preserved until this day a living memory of the death camps—Karlag, Steplag, Peschanlag, and other horrible places of torture and executions of innocent people. A great holy man of God shone in Karaganda, Elder Sevastian, in whose podvig we see witness for Christ as was the continuation of the prayerful podvigi of the holy Elders of Optina.

— You often accompany the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God on its pilgrimages to various countries. What does this holy icon mean to you?

— Even as a layman, I frequently had the opportunity to pray before this icon. Later, as it turned out, the first month of my priesthood I was appointed to travel together with another priest and this icon to several of our parishes. I saw how the people were drawn to this holy image and witnessed miracles happening in its presence. So not only I but many of our clergymen became very attached to this miracle-working icon.

— Could you share one of the miracles you witnessed?

— At one parish I had attended for many years as a layman, I accompanied the icon not only to church but to the homes of sick people. We took the icon to one very old woman whom I knew well; she had been unable to walk for several years. She asked that we warn her in advance of our arrival so that she could have her son come and open the apartment. But when we arrived, she opened the door herself and after that, she would walk to church by herself, and for several years. This was the first genuine miracle that I witnessed. But later I was witness to very many miraculous events.

— Allow us to thank you on behalf of our readers for heading the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia which allowed us to venerate this great holy icon of the Orthodox Church.

— We are very thankful to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, who blessed the visit of the Hodigitria of the Russian diaspora to your country.

I would like to thank His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan, the head of this Metropolitan District, for organizing the visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to Kazakhstan. It was his good initiative that the people of Astana, Karaganda and Almaty, over two hundred thousand of them, and over a short period of time, could venerate the holy icon.

I also thank the archpastors of the dioceses of the Kazakhstan Metropoliate, Vladyka Metropolitan Seraphim of Borjomi and Bakurian, and the clergymen and faithful for sharing this joy of common prayer.

— May the Lord save you, Vladyka, thank you for this interview. I hope that we will once again see you on Kazakhstan’s soil.

Marina Sazonova

Metropolitan District of Kazakhstan/

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Слово без дела ― суетно и неплодотворно

Белгород, 17 сентября 2011 года. В праздник обретения мощей и 100-летия прославления святителя Иоасафа, епископа Белгородского, Святейший Патриарх Кирилл возглавил служение Божественной литургии на Соборной площади Белгорода на месте разрушенного Богородице-Рождественского монастыря.