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MUNICH: December 28, 2009
The German Diocesan Orthodox Seminar Concludes

From December 24-26, 2009, the Cathedral of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia hosted the traditional Orthodox Seminar of the German Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. This year, some 90 participants from 14 parishes attended.  

The most important aspects of these forums are not only the readings and discussions on hagiographical, historical and pedagogical themes but the performance of molebens, all-night vigils and celebration of Divine Liturgies. The participants have the opportunity to make confession on a daily basis, partake of the Holy Gifts, and freely commune with the archpastors and clergymen of the Diocese. 

The scope of topics covered by the lectures and speeches was very broad this year. His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany spoke on the greatest figure in the history of the Russian Church of the 19th century, Metropolitan Philaret (Drodovsky) of Moscow, who combined the qualities of a church hierarch and a theologian, a statesman and a podvizhnik of piety, a preacher and a poet. Vladyka Mark presented Metropolitan Philaret as the “Chrysostom of Moscow,” a great theologian and teacher of the Russian Church, whose sermons serve as an example of theological wisdom, divine thought and contemplation, and are enduring masterpieces of ecclesiastical teaching in both form and content.  

Protopriest Nikolai Artemoff spoke on the life of the great man of prayer, the miracle-worker St John of Kronstadt, and about his canonization by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (in June, 1964) and by the Church in the Fatherland (in June 1990).  

Alexander Alekseevich Kornilov, Professor of History at Nizhegorodsky University of Russia, spoke on two subjects at one seminar: on Protopriest Adrian Rimarenko (1893-1978), who served in the Soviet Union, Germany and finally in the United States, where he founded Novo-Diveevo Convent; and on the mission and podvigi of the Orthodox clergy in the biggest DP (displaced-persons) camp in post-War Germany: Schleissheim, near Munich. The speaker had gathered materials during a sabbatical in the US in 1997, when he worked in Holy Trinity Monastery’s library in Jordanville, NY, and interviewed emigres, many of whom he continues to correspond with. 

Protopriest Mikhail Dronoff of the Diocese of Berlin and Germany of the Moscow Patriarchate spoke on religious experience, its essence, nature and the role it plays in the minds of contemporary youth. The Russian entrepreneur Alexander Naumtsev discussed his experience in organizing spiritual-moral educational programs in the Crimean region of Krasnodar.  

Fr Mikhail, Protopriest Ilia Limberger  of Stuttgart and Fr Nikolai shared their thoughts on the topics of evolutionism and creationism in scientific and religious thinking as reflected in the mass media.  

This year’s Orthodox Seminar, an annual event since 1981 (formerly called “Orthodox conferences,”) concluded with an outline of the theme for next year’s seminar, a summary of this year’s meeting and a moleben for all the participants.

Anatoly Kholodiuk for Sedmitsa.ru.