Moscow, June 20, 2022
Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk outlined the directions of work for the staff of the DECR of the Russian Orthodox Church.
In his first meeting with department staff, head of the Department of External Church Relations (DECR) of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Anthony (Sevriuk) of Volokolamsk commented on the current difficult situation in inter-Orthodox relations, reports the DECR website.
“Especially alarming today is the situation in the sphere of inter-Orthodox relations. Church unity is under serious threat, a new way of doing things in the Church is being imposed upon us by destroying the former order by which the Church lived for centuries; a new kind of Orthodoxy ecclesiology that is alien to us is being imposed upon us… Today we are living in very difficult geopolitical conditions, which, although they may not concern us directly, will concern us in some way or another, because the Church is an integral part of society,” Met. Anthony emphasized.
In spite of all these complications, metropolitan Anthony called upon the workers of the DECR to look towards the future with optimism. “We know that the Lord created his Church and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16.18). Over the thousands of years of her existence the Church has accumulated colossal experience and has always dealt with those dangers that have come from both without and from within.”
“The Department of External Church Relations finds itself on the cutting edge of this struggle and defends the interests of the Russian Orthodox Church and canonical order…
“I am fully aware of what a difficult obedience His Holiness the Patriarch and the members of the Holy Synod have placed upon me. In my future labors, as much as the Lord blesses, I will place my hope in God’s aid and your help,” Met Anthony said in conclusion, stressing that he will be making every effort to learn from his staff’s experience.