Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Vienna and Austria (1966- ), Representative of the MP to the European International Institutions
Some clergy in the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) suggest that it elect Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Vienna and Austria of the MP as its First Hierarch. Archpriest Thomas Hopko, a well-known theologian and former rector of St Vladimir Theological Seminary, issued an open letter calling the Holy Synod of the OCA to contact the Holy Synod of the MP in regards to the possible election of Bishop Hilarion. “There can be nothing else that it expects of us at this given moment”, Fr Thomas stated in his letter, posted on Thursday on the website Bogoslov.ru.
The election of the First Hierarch of the OCA shall place at the All-American Council (a misnomer, it is more a Protestant-style convention than an Orthodox council: editor’s note) in Pittsburgh on 11 November. Previously, Archpriest Andrew Moore, the rector of St Thomas parish in Springfield MO, stated in an open letter to delegates to the All-American Council that they should “pray and reflect, and to vote on the first ballot without opposition to elect Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev as the Metropolitan of the OCA. We need a metropolitan who has proven that he is a good pastor, but, also a capable administrator, even when the cause of Christ is out of favour… We must pray and appeal to God that the MP would allow him (Bishop Hilarion: Interfax) to serve us. We must, through our prayers, make it known to him that he is needed here”.
The prospect of the election of Vladyki Hilarion’s election as Metropolitan of all America and Canada caused lively discussion on the website Orthodox Christians for Accountability. Fr John Scollard of the Albanian Diocese of the OCA thinks it best to consult with Bishop Basil Osborne (a schismatic EP bishop who caused church turmoil in England in 2006: editor’s note), who in 2006 passed from the authority of the MP to the EP. A laywoman from New York, Rebecca Matovic, assumes that a possible election of Bishop Hilarion as metropolitan “cannot be interpreted in any other way except as a step on the way to the reunification of the OCA with Moscow”. On this site, one also finds comments in support of Bishop Hilarion’s candidacy, signed by people such as Archimandrite Jonas Pfaffhausen, due to elevated to the episcopacy on 1 November, by Hieromonk Alexander Golitsyn, who is a professor at Marquette University, and by Archpriest Michael Dahulich, the rector of St Tikhon Spiritual Seminary. “Bishop Hilarion would be an excellent candidate… If Moscow allows him to come and lead us, nothing could be better for the strengthening of ties between the different Russian churches and even the different jurisdictions in America”, according to Fr John Peck.
30 October 2008
This was NOT translated into English on the Interfax site. A GIANT “Big Green Weenie Award” for that one! In any case, there are other candidates in the woodwork… many staunch ethnic people are for a Hilarion… not Hilarion Alfeyev, but, Hilarion Kapral of the ROCOR. As Fr Andrew Phillips rightly points up, he is Canadian-born; therefore, he has a better grasp of the pastoral reality in North America.
In any case, the OCA as it has been known for the past 38 years is no more… es ist das ENDE. Finis. Da svidaniya, Syosset! There is a small rear-guard of apparatchiki and true-believers guarding the last positions… no one else has confidence in this organisation, not the clergy, not the laity, and I would say, not even the bishops.
The meeting on 11 November bids fair to be INTERESTING in the extreme. No matter what happens, the status quo ante bellum shall not be restored, for it cannot be. As for what shall happen, that is anyone’s good guess. I certainly have no insider info. Pray… like you have never done so before.