Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations: “It is impossible to solve religious issues by political means”

On 12 January 2010, Archbishop Hilarion met with the Russian and foreign journalists at the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations. One of the questions regarded the interconnection between church and political problems in the post-Soviet domain.

While answering the question about the interconnection between church and political problems in the post-Soviet space, Archbishop Hilarion said in particular, "There is no doubt that such connection exists though it is not direct, and it is impossible to solve religious issues by political means, likewise it is impossible to solve political problems by church means, though relations among the Churches may contribute to the improvement of relations among countries, nations, and even between politicians." He cited as a positive example the recent exchange of church ambassadors between the Russian and the Georgian Orthodox Churches, and expressed his hope for the church ambassadors to "offer their mite to the reconciliation of the two countries on political level, too."

DECR chairman sends Christmas greetings to heads of non-Orthodox Christian Churches

Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, has sent Christmas greetings to Pope Benedict XVI, Supreme Patriarchate and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, Archbishop Yukka Paarma of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland, Archbishop Rowan Williams of the Anglican Community and to the heads of other non-Orthodox Christian Churches. Below is the text of Archbishop Hilarion's Christmas greetings:

My cordial greetings to you on the occasion of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Primate of the Russian Church addresses faculty and students of the Russian Academy of State Service under the President

On 29 December 2009, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with the leadership, faculty, and students of the Russian Academy of State Service under the President of the Russian Federation. Present at the meeting were Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations; archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, chairman of the Synodal Department for Church-State Relations; V. Legoida, chairman of the Synodal Department for Information; archpriest Andrei Milkin, acting chief of the Patriarch's protocol service; hieromonk Philipp (Ryabykh), deputy chairman of the DECR; Rev. Sergy Zvonarev, acting DECR secretary for far abroad countries; hierodeacon Antony (Sevryuk), chief of the Patriarch's personal secretariat; archpriest Georgy Studenov, rector of the Church of St. Michael in Troparevo; and DECR staff members K. Peregudin, M. Palasio, and V. Yefanova.

Agreement on cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Academy of State Service is signed

On 29 December 2009, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia visited the Russian Academy of State Service under the President of the Russian Federation (RASS), where he, together with the rector V. Yegorov, signed an agreement on cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the RASS.

The agreement would serve to "the strengthening of spiritual and moral principles in Russian society..., and cooperation both in studies of the development of relations between the Church and the state and education."

Christmass Greeting of the Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church

The Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church congratulates the feast of the birth of the Divine God-Child to believers and prelates of the Christian churches which celebrate Christmas on December 25.

|