Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, recently delivered a lecture on “Christian Ecumenism: Does it have a future?” in Winchester and Cambridge, UK. In the introductory passages of his lecture Metropolitan Hilarion deals with the early mission of the church and specifically the role of St. Paul, before going on to look at the reasons for division and schism. His lecture pays particular attention to the conversations between the Anglican and Orthodox churches and whilst optimistic about the work which has been done on doctrinal issues is also very realistic about the difficulty of reconciling differences around the ordination of women and some ethical issues. He deals creatively with such issues as the concept of ‘living tradition’ as well as with the challenges of ‘liberalism’ and ‘tolerance’. Whilst allowing space for contextualisation of Christian life he strongly defends the need for fidelity to Biblical foundations and to divine revelation.
The full lecture can be watched here.
Metropolitan Hilarion has been invited to address the next LOI consultation in Finland on “Gospel as Good News” and we are hopeful that his diary will allow him to accept this invitation. (We current await news of his availability.)