It is with a saddened heart that I, as archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Berlin and Germany (ROCOR), take this opportunity to clarify our diocese’s position on the current developments among the Orthodox.
Youth ministry was deemed a priority in Church life by the recent Council of Bishops. The adopted "Regulations on Monasteries and Monastics" aims to standardize monastic life and attract novices. What is needed to attract young people to monasticism was discussed with several participants of the Council.
We spoke to Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany of ROCOR--who had contributed a great deal towards the overcoming of division in the Russian Church--about the experience of the Church over the last decade, about the importance of venerating the New Martyrs, and about the events and processes that made reconciliation possible.
For many people, Great Lent is a time, let’s be honest, of difficulty and sorrow. Statistics show that every year only three to five percent of those who call themselves Orthodox Christians observe Lent, and even those don’t adhere to it strictly. Why don’t people see the joy of Lent? Wherein lies this joy? How does one who has never observed Lent begin? We spoke with Archbishop Mark (Arndt) of Berlin and Germany.
His Eminence Archbishop Mark (Arndt) on spiritual unity with the Holy Fathers and ordinary contemporaries, about how priests come to be priests in our time, can monks today exceed the ancient hermits, on women’s calling, unusual beauty and the genuine freedom of Orthodox Christianity.
Visiting the expanses of Kazakhstan, I feel in my heart that this is truly an antimension under the open skies. Every populated place here is connected with the name of a New Martyr or Confessor, every kilometer of Kazakhstan soil was bathed with the blood of those suffering for Christ.
Another big problem is the attitude of the parishioners to those of little or no faith. We have many families that have people of different confessions. It is very rare when everyone is of the same religion. Sometimes there is only one Orthodox Christian in the family.
Martyrdom is the same thing as Christianity. These two words have the same meaning. Hatred against Christ and His followers should not surprise us. It is natural, it was foretold by the Lord Himself, Who said: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). What sort of disciples would we then be, if we did not follow the footsteps of our Teacher?
In late December 2005, an Orthodox Conference of the Diocese of Berlin and Germany of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was held. Sergei Chapnin, Editor-in-Chief of Tserkovnij Vestnik ["Church Messenger"], participated in the Conference at the invitation of Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany. His Eminence spoke to him of the attitudes in the Russian Church Abroad, and about the work of the Synodal Commission on talks with the Moscow Patriarchate in an interview with Tserkovnyj Vestnik.