LAST UPDATE: 14.15
By Efi Efthimiou
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow proceeded with the decision to dismiss Hilarion from his duties as president of the Department of External Church Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow and Metropolitan of Volokolamsk.
In an announcement following the regular meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, it is stated that the Synod decided to dismiss Metropolitan Markos of Budapest and Hungary from the administration of the Diocese, thanking him for the work he did.
At the same time, “Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk will be the administrator of the Metropolis of Budapest-Hungary, with his exemption from the duties of president of the Department of External Church Relations and permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.”
It was also decided that the President of the DECR and permanent member of the Holy Synod would be Metropolitan Anthony of Korsun, with temporary preservation of the direction of the Exarchate of Western Europe and the position of head of the office of the Patriarchate of Moscow for foreign institutions, with exemption from the management of the Diocese of Korsun.
Orthodoxtimes.com had first pointed out in an article the effort of Metropolitan Hilarion to differentiate himself from the aggressive attitude of the Patriarch of Moscow and his full identification with the Kremlin’s demands.
First was his meeting with Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus in Cyprus, in the framework of the Orthodox Assembly of the World Council of Churches, despite the fact that the Church of Russia has interrupted the Eucharistic communion with the Archbishop of Cyprus, after the latter’s recognition of the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine.
This was followed by the World Council of Churches (WCC) pre-conference and the conclusion text issued at the end, which spoke of a unanimous condemnation of the war raging in Ukraine.
Metropolitan of Volokolamsk was present at the meeting, as head of the mission of the Russian Church, as he was also present at the discussions that led to the final text of conclusions, which was adopted unanimously.
In his recent statements on relations with the “Orthodox Churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Cyprus, and Greece”, he also stressed that “I don’t think we should consider them enemies.”
Hilarion also spoke of “temporary difficulties” in the Orthodox Church, which will be overcome “definitely”, and that “a pan-Orthodox or inter-Orthodox solution will be found, which will allow the healing of the wounds inflicted on the body of world Orthodoxy and will restore full communion between the Churches.”
This “turnaround” occurs mainly in the period following the WCC’s Pre-Assembly.
Sources at orthodoxtimes.com report that Metropolitan Hilarion took a very mild stance in Paralimni, showing unprecedented moderation in discussions with the delegations of all the Churches.
Moreover, yesterday, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus referred to the isolation of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow from his Metropolitans and referred to his meeting with Metropolitan Hilarion. “So I told Hilarion to convey to Patriarch Kirill that he must abandon the mistakes and start commemorating us. We commemorate him, I send him letters and he replies.”
According to the Archbishop of Cyprus, Metropolitan Hilarion promised to transfer it, but he doubts it. “Kirill has them on the ground. He is very selfish and the Metropolitans are afraid to go to him. I quarreled with him many times because it was a mistake.”