Russian Orthodox priest welcomed at Lay Centre


Russian Orthodox Archpriest Dmitry Sizonenko, rector of the Parish of the Nativity of Christ in Brussels, Belgium.


Lay Centre: Could you please tell us something about yourself and your work?

Archpriest Dmitry Sizonenko: I was born in Siberia and went on to study in St. Petersburg, where I am currently a professor at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. The academy grants master’s and doctoral degrees that prepare theologians and priests for the Eastern Orthodox Church. I am also an active priest at the Feodorovsky Cathedral (just outside St. Petersburg).

I was appointed to the post of Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to the European international organizations. To fulfill this task, I was appointed to the clergy of Brussels and Belgium eparchy to the decree of archbishop of Brussels and Belgium. My role at the European Union has given me the opportunity to convey the position of the Russian Orthodox Church on topics such as social ethics and religious freedom among others. While in Brussels, I have been active as rector of the Parish of the Nativity of Christ in Brussels.

Lay Centre: Why did you choose The Lay Centre as a place to stay during your studies and work?

Archpriest Dmitry Sizonenko: I was invited to deliver a short course at the Pontifical Gregorian University, called “Introduction to Orthodox theology,” and Jesuit Father Felix Körner suggested I stay at The Lay Centre, home to a multi ethnic and interreligious community.

Lay Centre: How have you found your experience with The Lay Centre?

Archpriest Dmitry Sizonenko: I have found this community to be welcoming and intellectually stimulating. I was a student at the Pontifical Gregorian University 20 years ago and conversations with The Lay Centre residents reminded me of my questions and search for answers at their age. This time in Rome has been an interlude and is helping me in my transition from Brussels to St. Petersburg, where I will return next month. I am grateful for this time at The Lay Centre; as a priest, observing the young lay people in prayer and joining them in prayer has been very enriching.

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