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Met. Hilarion BORussia & OCA

Author: Fr. Alexander Garklavs
September 1, 2010
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk concludes US visit at the invitation of Metropolitan Jonah

SYOSSET, NY [OCA] On Tuesday, August 31, 2010, His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion [Alfeyev] of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, and permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate, concluded his three-day working visit to New York at the invitation of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah of All America and Canada.

Excerpts from an article at

A member of the Board of Trustees of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Crestwood, NY, Metropolitan Hilarion was to have concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with Metropolitan Jonah at the school’s Three Hierarchs’ Chapel on Sunday, August 29, but was unable to do so due to illness…

On Monday, August 30, Metropolitan Hilarion visited the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America. Joining Metropolitan Jonah in welcoming him were His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania; His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey; Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, OCA Chancellor; and Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, OCA Director of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations. Also present were Archpriests John Behr and Chad Hatfield, Dean and Chancellor of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary respectively, and Priest Alexander Rentel, Secretary of the seminary’s Academic Council.

After the celebration of a Service of Prayer … a meeting was held for the purpose of “contributing to the reflections within the OCA regarding its participation in the Episcopal Assembly process” as part of ongoing periodic fraternal conversations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church in America.

“Metropolitan Hilarion affirmed the Russian Orthodox Church’s commitment to uphold its granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in America in 1970,” said Father Alexander Garklavs after the meeting. “Various prospects for future developments in the Orthodox world also were discussed.”  Metropolitan Jonah added that “though rather brief, the discussions with Metropolitan Hilarion were extremely positive and reiterated the deep symbolic and historical links between our Churches.”

Later that day, Metropolitan Hilarion visited the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in New York, where he held a working meeting with His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios to discuss “a wide range of issues concerning relations between various Orthodox jurisdictions in North America,” … Also participating in the meeting were Archpriest Mark Arey, Director of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical, and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Archdiocese, and Archpriest Seraphim Gan, Secretary of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia [ROCOR].

Metropolitan Hilarion also visited His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, with whom he “discussed a wide range of issues concerning cooperation between the Church in Russia and the Church in diaspora and inter-Orthodox cooperation in the American continent”… On 31 August Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk met with Ms. Anne Glynn-Mackoul and Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky, who are the US Orthodox members of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches… Prior to his departure the same day, Metropolitan Hilarion once again met with Metropolitan Jonah and Father Alexander Garklavs.

13 Comments to “Met. Hilarion BORussia & OCA”

  1. Joannes Jacobse Says:

    as posted on

    While I welcome the affirmation [above, “Metropolitan Hilarion affirmed the Russian Orthodox Church’s commitment to uphold its granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in America in 1970, said Father Alexander Garklavs”] my question:

    Does the Church that grants autocephaly actually have the power to rescind it? I wouldn’t think so. The granting of autocephaly is not conditional. If it were, autocephaly would be something other than independence.

  2. Thomas Says:

    The only church that has the power to grant autocephaly is the ecumenical Patriarchate. This is not an opinion, it is a fact and an order of orthodoxy. Russia had no right to grant this to OCA. There is no true Sinod of America. You can only say such thing truly exists when all of the bishops in the USA are part of this sinod. The name “OCA” is misleading and incorrect. The OCA is full of converts to Orthodoxy and they call themselves representatives of the Orthodox Church of America? Yes, mabey this is true. Representatives of “the new world,” the country of protestants. The irony is Jonah is a convert from the protestant church and now he is the one leading us, the one teaching us the rules and order of orthodoxy? OCA is under the Russian Patriarchate. What is so hard to understand and believe about this. Every church in orthodoxy has to be under a Patriarchate. Oca is under russia.

    We want to get out of OCA, unite, so all Romanians are one, on american soil, under BOR. Now those who are against, can remain with OCA. The rest will, and I mean “will” move under BOR; like it or not. This is not rocket science. We are Romanains (those of us who truly consider ourselves Romanian) and we are tired of being led by people who have nothing to do with us and our culture. It is time we move on. And those of you who do not want to join us, stay where you are!

  3. Administrator Says:

    Who has the right to grant autocephaly is far from being a resolved issue. Jerusalem, Antioch, Constantinople and Moscow have all done so in the past, and we continue to debate this issue that has often paralyzed Orthodoxy over the past centuries and up to the present days where the latest Chambezy statements are but genewralities woven into a series of sentences made to appear logical. Nothing could be further from the truth! For whatever reason today, fully 1/3 of Orthodox Churches, representing the majority of Orthodox worldwide, consider the OCA to be an Autocephalous Church. This is reality. Whether it should be so considered is a matter for the other churches and other faithful to come to grips with. In the meantime, the OCA is the 2nd largest Orthodox regrouping in North America, behind only the Greeks and their appendages. Also insulting Metropolitan Jonah is definitely wrong and unacceptable. You may disagree with him, but not because he is a convert and is now our leader. WE (CLERGY AND LAITY)CHOSE HIM AT THE OCA ALL-AMERICAN CONGRESS. The OCA Autocephaly has even been confirmed recently by Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of BORusia and thus, the OCA continues as before, acting like an Autocephalous Church in North America because it is so. It is clearly not “under” anyone.

    Maybe “YOU” want to leave the OCA but “WE” certainly do not. All newcomers to this continent have had the option of choosing between our Vatra ROEA-OCA or Bucharest-run ROAA-BOR. Some people staying here only a short while have opted for the ROAA-BOR since everything is in Romanian and done old-world style, starting with both Bishops and most Clergy and their policies. Those immigrating to the USA and Canada have had to think about their future and the religious future of their children. They quickly surmised that Romanian is quickly overtaken by English as a communication language and their children adopt the American/Canadian cultures they are brought up in. In order to preserve a religious future for their children these immigrants search for a church that will adapt itself to their children’s needs both in terms of “more English/French over time” but also in terms of being led by people from here for people from here using familiar and local administrative methods. The vast majority of clergy and laity coming to these shores have chosen the ROEA-OCA option. Clearly people have voted with their feet. If you made the wrong choice Thomas, then please leave us alone and go to ROAA-BOR. Surely AB Nicolae will have a special place for you there. THE VOTE HAS HAPPENED. ACCEPT THE RESULT. WINNER OCA!

  4. Thomas Says:

    The only church who has the power to grant autocephally is the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This is refering to complete autocephally (something which OCA thinks it has, and which makes it un-canonical). Complete autocephally is only for Patriarchates. It does not pertain to metropolinates, and definetly not to episcopates. Orthodoxy is not “leave me alone, and do my own thing”, that is protestantism! Now if you don’t understand this, learn and accept it. If you “don’t want to accept it” then join the protestant church!

  5. Administrator Says:

    As mentioned in my response to you of September 8, 2010 regarding the Met. Hilarion BORussia & OCA article: “Who has the right to grant autocephaly is far from being a resolved issue. Jerusalem, Antioch, Constantinople and Moscow have all done so in the past, and we continue to debate this issue that has often paralyzed Orthodoxy over the past centuries and up to the present days…” In Orthodoxy you also find Archbishops and Metropolitans who head Autocephalous Churches. Your test for this week is to name at least 2 such existing churches. (Why should I give you all the answers to your often incorrect and elementary statements. Who knows, you might actually learn something this way… ) In future refrain from talking about things you know too little about. (That Constanta diploma again … a dangerous thing!)

  6. Thomas Says:

    Sir, I will not be the only one leaving you alone. Half of the episcopate, if not more will do the same. And if you keep pushing, it will happen sooner than later. The vast majortiy who have come to this country have not chosen ROEA because “ROEA is part of OCA.” People did not choose “ROEA” they chose a Romanian church…Get this through you head, and stop using this argument! People however are fed up with being slit between two Romanian episcopates. We are Romanians, so most of the clergy/laity want to be under Romania, not Russia. Accept it or not - your problem.

    As for Metropolitan Jonah. Check the Orthodox canons and what they say about converts to orthodoxy, and the fact that they are not allowed to become bishops!

  7. Administrator Says:

    No survey has been done, and no vote taken, yet you quote proportions supporting the move to ROAA/BOR? Who do you think you are kidding? Remember that the most important vote already took place when people came here and had the choice of ROEA/OCA or the ROAA/BOR. The vast majority of priests and lay people chose the ROEA/OCA over the ROAA/BOR both before 1990 and after 1990. BOTH the ROEA/OCA and the ROAA/BOR were available options and more Romanian is available at ROAA parishes, yet priests and lay people chose the ROEA/OCA over the other option. Why is that? Sorry Toma/Thomas, methinks you have miscalculated, yet again…

    Oh Thomas, even Christ and all the Apostles, our first Bishops, were Jews. I’ll let you tell Timothy Ware that he is not a Bishop! Stop being ridiculous!

  8. Anonymous Says:


    Unfortunately there is no “winner” because while all this bickering about jurisdictions is going on, we are losing our young people. The great majority of people just want what’s right. If that means praying for a patriarch instead of a metropolitan, so be it. What’s important is not the political bragging rights of “we’re right, you’re wrong” but actually being a Church. Sad to say that ROEA is not being much of a church these days as part of OCA.

    If people put as much energy into doing charity, religious education, and other Christian things, as they do into attacking the Romanian Patriarch maybe we’d be in better shape. Just a bunch of “talkers” and not “doers” — and young people see that crystal clear.

  9. Administrator Says:


    Why can’t the ROAA/BOR accept the reality of our choice and leave us focus on being a local church with local problems. WHY ARE THEY TRYING TO DRAG US INTO THEIR FOREIGN PROBLEMS, MENTALITIES AND WARS! SORRY ANONYMOUS, YOU MISUNDERSTAND. Our choice of ROEA/OCA is precisely because we want a religious Orthodox future for our American kids here, while the ROAA/BOR and the Romanian government simply want us to become their “Diaspora”, a political platform here for them, from there. They don’t care about us or our kids, only themselves! Why don’t you ask them to leave us alone. We voted on this when we came here and our choice is made! Who wants to change their mind can go to the ROAA/BOR anytime – the sooner the better – just leave us alone!

  10. Thomas Says:

    Saracu Administrator, vede ca pierde teren. Poti sa iti faci o bisericuta a ta daca chiar vrei. Doar asa au inceput toate aici in America. Oaia neagra intre oi nu sta o vesnicie.

  11. Administrator Says:

    Nu Thomas, numai hotii si talharii pierd teren. Noi si inaintasii nostri am facut aceste biserici si aceasta Vatra, nu ca sa fie furata de voi care vreti ca noi sa parasim Biserica noastra OCA de aici, ca sa ne supunem BOR-ului de acolo. Noi am facut Bisericile noastre aici si am deschis usa ca si voi sa aveti un loc de ruga si nu pentru a ne fura! Daca nu va convine ca suntem in OCA-ul de aici, atunci nimic nu va opreste sa claditi bisericile voastre sub BOR. Nu uita ca aici e tara de drept; si hotia si furtul te duc in inchisoare! Oile negre sunt acceptate in turma noastra daca impartasesc idealurile si convingerele noastre crestinesti. Daca nu, va rugam sa parasiti turma noastra, numita Vatra.

  12. Thomas Says:

    Iata votul s-a facut [la Congresul Episcopesc din 2010] at the 2010 episcopate congress. [99% au votat si au aprobat demesurile spre unificarea cu BOR] 99% voted and approved the steps toward unification with BOR. Saracu administrator. El traieste in reluare. Si vine ziua cand are de ales. Cu OCA sau cu episcopia (mitropolia) Romana. Te dai singur afara.

  13. Administrator Says:

    Ma Thomas, votul care s-a facut la Congres anul acesta a foast acelasi ca cel din 2008, adica s-a aprobat ca sa continuam discutiile, si asta numai daca “Due Diligence” se termina si rezultatul dat de avocatii si contabilii nostri este pozitiv. Si chiar atunci, este departe pana la subjugarea sub BOR. Regulamentul Mitropoliei (noua Constitution & By-Laws) trebuie scrisa, documentele pregatite, un “pro forma” financiar balantat prezentat, o cerere la Sinodul OCA ca sa obtinem dreptul de a pleca, si atunci aprobarea fiecarei parohie/misiune din Episcopie, si numai dupa toate acestea tinerea unui Congres Special. La aceste voturi este nevoie de majoritate, de cel putin 2/3. Si ce facem cu parohiile/misiunile care pierd votul? In cazul in care castiga BOR atunci ROEA, la care toti apartinem, nu va mai fi, devenind o Mitropolie BOR, si atunci ce ne leaga de ROEA numai exista, si parohiile/misiunile ar trebui sa aiba dreptul de a ramane in OCA daca asa vor. In cazul ca va castiga OCA atunci nu se schimba nimic fiindca continuam sa traim “status quo”. Vezi Thomas, n’ai scapat de noi inca…

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