2022-05-17 11:06:00

First Hierarch of ROCOR Metropolitan Hilarion passes away

Moscow, May 17, Interfax - Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, the first hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), passed away on Monday aged 74, Archpriest Serafim Gan, chancellor of the Synod of Bishops of the ROCOR, told Interfax.

Metropolitan Hilarion died at 2:00 p.m. local time on Monday after a lengthy illness, the priest said.

"Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan and I are now at the hospital, where we performed the first memorial service in the late metropolitan's ward. Metropolitan Hilarion was an archpriest, a monk and a Christian person with the kindest of souls. He shall stay in our memories forever," he said.

The Moscow Patriarchate will remember the first hierarch of the ROCOR as a very kind and humble person.

"Metropolitan Hilarion loved to pray and always strived for peace. The external attributes of power held no importance for him at all, and, true to his humble disposition, he always could and preferred to give way to his brothers in faith," Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, told Interfax.

Metropolitan Hilarion had been prepared for the reunification of the Russian Church long before it took place, "but, staying true to his humble nature, had patiently waited until the other hierarchs of the Church Outside of Russia reached this decision," he said.

Metropolitan Hilarion, (his secular name is Igor Alexeyevich Kapral) was born in Spirit River, Canada, on January 6, 1948. He had headed the ROCOR since May 18, 2008, becoming its first hierarch endorsed in this post by the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate.