On March 6, 2012, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, in his capacity as rector of the Sts Cyril and Methodius Post-Graduate and Doctoral School and chairman of the Synodal Biblical-Theological Commission, visited the Minsk Theological Academy during his visit to Belarus with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and at the invitation of Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch for All Belarus.
In the morning of March the 6th, His Eminence venerated the miracle-working Icon of Our Lady of Zhirovitsy, saw the churches and sights of the Zhirovitsy Monastery of the Dormition and visited the Minsk Theological Academy located in its territory.
Accompanied by the academy’s rector Archimandrite Ioasaf (Morza) and other academy officials, Metropolitan Hilarion saw the lecture rooms and dormitory, talked to members of the administration, professors and students and familiarized himself in detail of the history, life and world of the theological schools.
At noon, Metropolitan Filaret arrived in the monastery to lead the ceremony of awarding Metropolitan Hilarion the degree of doctor honoris cause from the Minsk Theological Academy.
Opening the ceremony, the rector informed the assembly of the academic council’s decision to award Metropolitan Hilarion the degree of doctor honoris causa. The secretary of the academic council Archpriest Alexander Bolonnikov read out Metropolitan Hilarion’s biography and after that His Eminence delivered his doctoral speech on ‘The Doctrine of the Church and Holy Fathers’.
After the speech, which was heard with great attention and interest, Metropolitan Filaret presented Metropolitan Hilarion with the doctoral diploma and cross and a commemorative pectoral icon.
Metropolitan Hilarion presented the Minsk theological schools with an icon of St Isaac the Syrian and some of this theological works.
DECR Communication Service