NEWS FROM THE DIOCESES
 

GERMAN DIOCESE: February 20, 2004

 

Representatives of the German Diocese Participate in the
Theological Conference at St. Tikhon Institute in Moscow

On the Epiphany of the Lord, January 19, Hieromonk Evfimii (Longvinov) and Nun Vassa (Larin) flew from Munich to Moscow to once again take part in the annual Theological Conference of St. Tikhonís Orthodox Theological Institute. The Conference opened on January 21 with a plenary meeting at Moscow State University. In attendance were His Eminence Archbishop Evgenii of Verey, and also guests from Serbia: His Grace Artemje of Raska and Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija and the Serbian Professor L. Folic. At the plenary session, Vladyka Artemje and then Prof. Folic gave a distraught audience reports on destroyed Orthodox holy sites of Kosovo and Metohija. “Kosovo is crucified, and I am also crucified on this cross, and that is why it is difficult for me to talk about this,” noted Bishop Artemje. After the lectures of Bp. Artemje and Prof. Folic, the Rector of St. Tikhonís Institute, Protopriest Vladimir Vorobiev, addressed the Serbs with a heartfelt message of brotherly compassion, after which the entire audience sang “Save, O Christ God,” to the suffering Serbian Church.

After the plenary session, work in the many sections of the conference commenced: theological, historical, ecclesio-artistic, church singing, the history of the Russian Orthodox Church in the 20th century, philology, etc. It should be noted that St. Tikhon Institute is publishing a wide range of works, including books in all aspects of ecclesiastical studies, and at the same time it plays a leading role in research of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. The enormous database of the Institute on the New Martyrs can be viewed at: http://www.pstbi.ru.

Fr. Evfimii, before joining the Monastery of St. Job of Pochaev in Munich, worked in the I.E. Grabarí Moscow Restoration Center, and participated in the section on Church art. He gave the lecture “The Image of the Renewal of the Church,” the first day of the Conference, January 21.


The next day, Nun Vassa read a lecture in the section on the History of the Russian Orthodox Church in the 20th century, on the topic of the patriotic position of the Russian Church Abroad during the years 1920-1945. Her lecture touched upon the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia towards monarchy, fascism and the Russian Liberation Army [ROA]. The lecture given by the Rector of the Institute, Fr. Vladimir Vorobiev, on Ukase No. 362 of St. Patriarch Tikhon, evoked great interest. Fr. Vladimir noted the importance of this “forgotten decision” for the proper mutual understanding of the parts of the Russian Church.

That evening, the guests from Munich were invited to dinner by the Reverend Rector, where they were able to become better acquainted. Priest Georgii Orekhanov of the Institute, Protopriest Georgii Mitrofanov of St. Petersburg Theological Academy, A.A. Kornilov of Nizhny Novgorod and two colleagues of the Institute, L.A. Golovkova and O.V. Kosik, joined them. In a lively exchange during dinner, opinions were offered by Fr. George Mitrofanov on the All-Diaspora Pastoral Conference held in Nyack, NY (USA), and the perspectives and difficulties in conducting dialog between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The open and gregarious attitude of Fr. Vladimir and the other members of the Institute left a warm impression on the guests from the German Diocese.

On Saturday, January 24, at the church of the Theological Institute, called "St. Nicholas of the Smithies," the liturgy was performed in Greek. The Serbian Bishop Artemje officiated along with the clergymen of the Institute, and a Greek choir from Athens sang. At the end of liturgy, Vladyka Artemje gave a greeting to the choir in Greek, noting a certain "Orthodox ecumena [universe]" in the liturgy just served.

At the end of the Conference, Sunday, January 25 (the day of St. Tatyana the Martyr, the patron saint of schools in Russia), a liturgy was held in the Kremlin's Uspensky Sobor, as is the Institute's custom. The students' choir of St. Tikhon's Institute sang to a church full of worshipers, mainly consisting of the teachers and students of MSU and the Institute.

After the Conference, Hieromonk Evfimii and Nun Vassa visited the holy places in Russia. Fr. Evfimii went to Novgorod to venerate the holy relics of his heavenly patron, Saint Efvimii of Novgorod. There he was welcomed with the blessing of Vladyka Lev (who was away at the time) at Yuriev Monastery, and was able to visit the relics and monasteries of the ancient Russian city. Returning to Moscow, Fr. Evfimii went to Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra and Pereslavl' Zalessky, where he visited several other ancient monasteries. From Pereslavl' he journeyed to the town of Godenovo to venerate the Cross-Not-Made-by-Hands, which appeared in the 19th century, in our day attracting a steady stream of visitors from all over Russia.

In Moscow, Nun Vassa met with her mother, who had flown in from New York, and made a pilgrimage with her first to Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, then to St. Petersburg (to the tombs of St. Xenia the Blessed and St. John of Kronstadt), and finally to Diveevo, to the relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov. No small consolation to the pilgrims from abroad were the monasteries and holy places of Russia, their very walls infused with prayer, and also the hospitality of the monastics and church people. In the evening of January 30, Fr. Evfimii and Sister Vassa returned to Munich.

Vestnik Germanskoy Eparkhii [Messenger of the German Diocese]