March 15, 2013 According to Interfax-Religion, prominent MP ecumenist (and second in charge), Met. Hilarion (Alfeyev) will lead the delegation of MP clergy to celebrate the installation of the new Pope Francis.
Met. Hilarion (Alfeyev), has long been known for his promotion of inter-confessional union, and for his longtime association with the previous Pope. The eagerness with which previous delegations of Moscow Patriarchate clergy wished to kiss the Pope’s hand, as well as the official policy of the Moscow Patriarchate to give communion to Roman Catholic laity (in certain circumstances that don’t involve those laity renouncing their previous theology), have become well-known as time continues.
The call from Moscow Patriarchate hierarchs for close unity with the Roman Catholic Church has certainly been heeded by their own clergy. In all of this, one wonders if the hierarchs of the ROCOR-MP, will join in with their patriarch’s and other fellow hierarchs great endorsement of the Roman Papal system. Or will they issue their own statements distancing themselves from the pronouncements of the Patriarch and his second in command, Met. Hilarion (Alfeyev)? With recent insistence from well-known ROCOR-MP clergy that the Roman Catholic Church possessing true Sacraments that are beneficial, and therefore must be part of the Church (which statements, of course, are a complete misunderstanding of even the widespread Augustinian position held by Russian Orthodox in the 18th and 19th century), we wonder how long the ROCOR-MP can hold out?