Hilarion dismissed as second man in Russian church


Eastern Europe


Hilarion in February 2018. Photo RD, Evert van Vlastuin

Quite a surprise. That is the least that could be said about the replacement of Metropolitan Hilarion as 'foreign minister' of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Orthodox Times reported on Tuesday that the second man in the ROC was dismissed as president of the Department of External Church Relations. His new job is governor of the Metropolis of Budapest in Hungary. He will no longer be a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Russian Church.

The 'new foreign' minister for the ROC is the 37-year-old Metropolitan Anthony of Korsun.

A reason for Hilarion's replacement is not given. Orthodox Times earlier asked attention to the idea that Hilarion tried to differentiate himself from the identification of the Moscow Patriarch with the Kremlin's demands. According to Orthodox Times, Hilarion was known for "a very mild stance".

It is not clear whether this is true or just speculation. It is clear that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow is standing isolated amid other Orthodox churches regarding the war in Ukraine. Apart from the Serbian Patriarch, no one of his eight colleagues worldwide has supported him.

According to Interfax, the replacement of Hilarion took place because of "continuity".

Ria Novosti reports that Anthony of Korsun has worked for the Moscow Patriarchate in dioceses in Italy, Berlin, Vienna and Budapest.



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