Metropolitan Hilarion: Church Cannot Exist Only in the Digital Space

Pravmir.com team | 21 April 2020

Even though the Church is forced to temporarily address believers using mainly digital technologies, due to the spread of the coronavirus infection, it cannot become completely virtual, believes Metropolitan Hilarion, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev). Photo: Orthodoxy.ru

“There are some medical services that can be ordered and received on the Internet, but you cannot undergo a surgery online. The same can be said about the Church. Indeed it is no coincidence that the Holy Fathers called the Church a spiritual hospital and compared priests with doctors and sins with diseases,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Hilarion in the TV program “Church and Peace”, reports the press service of the Synodal Department for Church’s Relations with Society and Mass Media.

The metropolitan emphasized that regardless of how much society is digitalized, the Church will always perform the Sacraments with the indispensable physical presence of believers, and not only the clergy, but also parishioners, will participate in divine services.

Moreover, His Beatitude Metropolitan Hilarion added that the Church has an opportunity to further develop its mission in the digital space.

“We must create conditions for each of our believers so that they can receive the maximum of what can be obtained remotely, on the screen of their computer or mobile phone, without leaving their home. For example, people could read the Gospel every day with their parish, listen to their priest’s sermon, and participate in the morning and evening prayers. All of this can be done without the person’s physical presence in the church. Thus, we can largely transfer religious education and enlightenment of people to the digital space,” the archpastor explained.

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