The Chairman

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Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk

Rector of SS Cyril and Methodius Theologocal Institute of Postgraduate Studies, Head of the Department for External Church Relations.

Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk was born on 24th of July 1966 in Moscow. From 1973 to 1984 he studied at Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music in violin and composition class.

In 1981 he became a psalm-reader at the Church of the Founding of the Lord’s Sepulcher in Moscow. From 1983, he served as a subdeacon to Metropolitan Pitirim (Nechaev) of Volokolamsk and Yuriev and worked as a freelance for the Moscow Patriarchate’s Publishing Department.

Upon graduation from school in 1984, he entered Composition Faculty at the Moscow State Conservatory.

From 1984 till 1986 he served in Soviet army.

In January 1987 he voluntarily left Moscow Conservatory and became a novice at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius.

On 19th June 1987 he was tonsured as a monk at Holy Spirit Cathedral in Vilnius, and on 21st June he was ordained a hierodeacon by Archbishop Victorin (Belyayev) of Vilnius and Lithuania in the same cathedral.

On 19th August 1987 Bishop Anatoly of Ufa and Sterlitamak, acting on the blessing of Archbishop Victorin of Vilnius and Lithuania, ordained Hilarion a hieromonk at Our Lady Cathedral in Vilnius.

From 1988 till 1990, he served as the Rector of churches in Telšiai and Kolainai and Tituvenai Villages in the Diocese of Vilnius. In 1990 he was appointed rector of the Annunciation Cathedral in Kaunas, Lithuania.

In 1990, he took part in the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church as a delegate from the diocesan clergy of Vilnius and Lithuania.

He graduated from the Moscow Seminary in 1989, and the Moscow Theological Academy in 1991 with a Candidate of Theology degree. He completed his postgraduate studies in 1993.

From 1991 to 1993 he taught homiletics, New Testament, dogmatic theology and Ancient Greek at the Moscow Seminary and the Moscow Theological Academy. In 1992 and 1993 he taught New Testament at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Institute and patristics at the Russian Orthodox University of St. John the Theologian.

In 1993, he was sent to the University of Oxford for internship. Under the guidance of Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia (Patriarchate of Constantinople) he worked on his doctoral thesis on ‘St. Simeon the New Theologian and the Orthodox Tradition’, combining his studies with service at the Diocese of Surozh parishes.

In 1995 he graduated from Oxford university with a degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

From 1995 he worked in the Department for External Church Relations. He headed the Secretariat for Inter-Christian Relations from 1997 till 2002.

From 1995 till 1997 he taught patristics at the Smolensk and Kaluga Seminaries. In 1996 he taught a course on dogmatic theology at St. Herman’s Orthodox Seminary in Alaska, USA.

Since January of 1996 he was a cleric of the Church St. Catherine the great Martyr in the Fields in Moscow (the Representation of the Orthodox Church in America).

From 1996 till 2004 he was a member of the Synodal Theological Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church.

From 1997 till 1999 he gave lectures on dogmatic theology at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York, USA, and on mystical theology of the Eastern Church at the Department of Theology at Cambridge University (Great Britain).

In 1999, St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris awarded him the degree of Doctor of Theology.

On Easter of 2000, he was elevated to the rank of hegumen by Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad at the Holy Trinity Church in Khoroshevo, Moscow.

By the Holy Synod decision of 27 December 2001, he was elected as Bishop of Kerch, Vicar of the Surozh Diocese.

On the Nativity of Christ, on 7th January 2002, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite at the Smolensk Cathedral by Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad.

On 14th January 2002, he was consecrated as bishop at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. The consecration was celebrated by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia with ten archpastoral concelebrants.

By the Holy Synod decision of 17th July 2002, he was appointed as Bishop of Podolsk, Vicar of the Moscow Diocese, and head of the Russian Orthodox Church Representation at European International Organizations.

By the Holy Synod decision of 7th May 2003, he was appointed Bishop of Vienna and Austria and charged with temporary administration over the Diocese of Budapest and Hungary, retaining the office of Russian Orthodox Church Representative at European International Organizations in Brussels.

On 1st February 2005 he was elected as assistant professor at the Department of Dogmatic Theology, University of Freiburg, Switzerland.

On 24th August 2005 he was awarded St. Macarius Prize for his book ‘The Church’s Sacred War. An Introduction to the History and Problems of Onomatodoxic Polemics’.

On 31st March 2009 His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia relieved Bishop Hilarion of his duty as administrator of the Dioceses of Vienna, Austria and Hungary and appointed him Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations and permanent member of the Holy Synod with the title of Bishop of Volokolamsk, Vicar to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

On 9th April 2009 he was appointed rector of the Church of Our Lady Joy of All Who Sorrow in Bolshaya Ordynka Street in Moscow.

On 20th April of the same year he was elevated to the rank of archbishop by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

On 1st February 2010 he was elevated to the rank of metropolitan.

On18th August 2010 he was appointed the Rector of the churches of Saint Martyrs Mikhail and Fyodor of Chernigov and of Beheading of St. John the Baptist. 

In 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of the Russian State Social University and was elected an honorary professor of the Russian Christian Academy for Humanities.

In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of the Ural State Mountain University and was elected an honorary professor of the Ural State Conservatory.

In 2013 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of the Institute of Theology of the Belarus State University.

In 2014 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of Russian State University for Humanities and an honorary doctorate of the SS Cyril and Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria).

Metropolitan Hilarion is and active member of the Russian Academy of Literature.

He is a member of the Union of Composers of the Russian Federation.

He is also the Chairman of the editorial boards of the magazines Bogoslovskie Trudy (Theological Works) (Moscow), Tserkov i Vremya (Church and Times) (Moscow), Studia Monastica (Barcelona), and Vizantijskaya Biblioteka series (St. Petersburg).

He has been awarded with various church, state, academic and other awards.

Main Scholarly Works and Publications

Metropolitan Hilarion is the author of over 800 publications on patristics, dogmatic theology and church history, problems of theological education. He also translated works by Church Fathers from Ancient Greek and Syrian.

He is the author of a number of musical compositions including “Divine Liturgy” and “All-Night Vigil” for a choral a-capella performance, “St Matthew’s Passions” for soloists, a choir and an orchestra, and “Christmas Oratorios” for soloists, a boy choir, a mixed choir and a symphony orchestra, and “Song of Ascents” on psalms words.

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