MOSCOW: May 19, 2012
A New Documentary by Metropolitan Ilarion of Volokolamsk, “Unity of the Faithful”

On May 15, 2012, TV station Rossiya 1 showed the premier of a documentary by His Eminence Metropolitan Ilarion of Volokolamsk, “Unity of the Faithful” [Edinstvo vernykh] which marks the 5th anniversary of a most important historic event—the reestablishment of canonical unity between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The signing of the Act of Canonical Communion on May 17, 2007, in the words of His Holiness the late Patriarch Alexy II, marked the historical end of the Civil War in Russia. It ended the painful and dramatic separation within the people of the Church in the Russian diaspora, which had lasted many decades.

The film discusses how the hierarchs of the Church in the Fatherland and abroad followed a path that led to this epochal event, how differences and contradictions were overcome, what efforts unity required. It is based on unique recollections and impressions of direct participants in the process—His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain, and the secretaries of the two unification committees, two Mitred Protopriests, Nikolai Balashov and Alexander Lebedeff, as well as many others.

Also recalling their experiences were the following laypersons: actor and director Rodion Nakhapetov, Victoria Mondich, and two “halves” of one young family which might not have existed had the Lord not reunited the Family of the Russian Orthodox Church…