Archbishop Hilarion takes part in the celebration of the 177th anniversary of the demise of St. Seraphim of Sarov

On 15 January 2010, Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for external church relations, took part in the celebration of the 177th anniversary of the demise of St. Seraphim of Sarov at the Convent of the Holy Trinity and St. Seraphim in Diveyevo. Also taking part in the festive divine service led by Metropolitan Varnava of Cheboksary and Chuvashia were Archbishops Anastasy of Kazan and Tatarstan, Georgy of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas, Dimitry of Vitebsk and Orsha, Bishops Iosif of Ivanovo-Voznesensk and Kineshma and Veniamin of Lubertsy. Praying at the service were hegumeness Sergia (Konkova), sisters of the Convent, and hegumenesses and sisters of other convents.

We are not prepared to talk either of concrete time of the meeting between the Patriarch of Moscow and the Pope

On 12 January 2009, Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk met with the Russian and foreign journalists at the Department for external church relations that he chairs and answered, inter alia, a question about the relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

The journalists were interested in prospects of a personal meeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia with the Pope of Rome Benedict XVI.

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.