October 24, 2013
An international conference on Theological Reflection on Martyrdom, Confession and Mass Repressions opened at the conference hall of the Danilovskaya Hotel, Moscow. It is organized by the Ss Cyril and Methodius Institute of Post-Graduate and Doctoral Studies with the participation of Novospassky Monastery and the Educational Center “Butovo Firing Range” and with the support of the Russian World Foundation.
Addressing the meeting Metropolitan Hilarion in his capacity as rector of the Institute, said that he hoped it was the first but not the last martirological conference held by the Ss Cyril and Methodius Institute. “The fact that we all have gathered together here today speaks of the vitality of the theme of martyrdom and confession and of the church people’s attraction to the living experience of the Church”, he said. He also expressed hope that through new metropolias and dioceses the Church will be able to give special attention to the veneration of New Martyrs and Confessors associated with a particular part of the Russian Church.
Then Metropolitan Hilarion read a paper on Martyrdom as the Living Experience of the Church.
Mr. S. Mironenko, director of the Russian State Archives, in his opening remarks, said that the theme of the conference “has a great importance for the moral regeneration and formation of our Society”. He spoke of the importance of documents kept in the state archives for studying the feat performed by New Martyrs and Confessors and his archives’ cooperation with dioceses, parishes, theological schools and public organizations, saying in particular, “Our aim is to restore the true history of our Motherland and to glorify those who constitute her glory and honour”.
Then Hegumen Arseny (Sokolov), rector of the Parish of All Saints in Lisbon, Portugal, presented his paper on Martyrdom in Holy Scriptures.
After a short break, the conference continued to work under the chairmanship of Bishop Stefan of Gomel and Zhlobin, chairman of the Canonisation Commission of the Byelorussian Exarchate.