On 22 May 2014, the 6th International Theological Conference on ‘Role of the Russian Orthodox Church in History and Culture of Russia: Traditions and the Present Time’ at the Tula State University. Taking part in the conference on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church were Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations. rector of the Ss Cyril and Methodius Church Post-Graduate Institute and a permanent member of the Holy Synod; Metropolitan Alexiy of Tula and Yefremov; Bishop Serafim of Belev and Aleksin; and archpriest Lev Makhno, head of the Theology Chair of the Tula University.
Metropolitan Hilarion presented a report, in which he spoke of the role the Russian Orthodox Church has played in Russia. He believes that people should know traditional values thus being able to oppose the forces which justify sin and ruin human souls.
After a historical excursus, Metropolitan Hilarion underscored the importance of culture as a liaison between the Church and the state. He said that the Russian Church gives people models of the true cultural development and – more important – gives examples of extraordinary spiritual rise. He reminded the audience of the 700th anniversary of St. Sergius of Radonezh celebrated this year and spoke about his life and deeds.
Metropolitan Hilarion said in conclusion that the Russian Orthodox Church exerted influence on the shaping of national statehood and Russian culture, which, thanks to Orthodoxy, is unique. He emphasized that the Russian Church supports cultural tradition as a connecting link between modern men and the glorious history of the Fatherland.