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 Patriarch Kirill


Born:   20 November 1946

Kirill is the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia from 27 of January 2009.

      

The new Russian Patriarch, Kirill, (Kirill Gundiaiev). Was enthroned after the death of Alexei II in December at age 79 after leading the Orthodox church since 1990. Kirill became the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia in 27 of January 2009. Later he was Metropolitan of

Smolensk

and

Kaliningrad

. His nomination by the Russian Synod and then election by the Church Assembly was expected. He won 508 votes out of 702 and was elected in Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Another candidat – Metropolitan Kliment was not so well known, he also was a member of Russian Synod and failed to introduce new project – “the foundations of orthodox culture at school”. The third candidat Metropolitan Filaret withdrew his candidacy. He gave his votes to Metropolitan Kirill.

Was born on 20-th of November 1946 in Leningrad, his father was the main mechanic at machinery factory. Later his father became a priest in Orthodox Church, he was arrested by Soviet power and spent two years at Kolyma, then was rehabilitate.

He studied at Leningrad Theological Seminary and then in Theological Academy, became its professor and rector, learned three languages. At the age of 25, in 1971, he was appointed a representative of the Russian Orthodox church to the World Council of Churches in Geneva and from 1975 was a member of the central committee of this organisation. From 1989 Kirill became a chairman of the external church relations department of the patriarchate and a member of the Holy Synod.

In the 1990s he was often mentioned among those in the church leaders who had close ties with the KGB – indeed, his quick rise through the ranks in the Soviet Union seemed improbable without such cooperation. But on the other hand the Orthodox Church always lacked for well educated people with dipolmatic talanted. Then some accused him of getting involved in the profitable business of the duty–free tobacco trade, the license for which was given to the Russian Orthodox Church by the government. But the head of tax police in 1990 disproved this statement, said that some priests really import tabak and vine to Sovet Union, but the name of Kirill has never appeared in the documents.

Since 1994 he has hosted a religious programme on TV “the world of pastor” – a novelty for the Russian Orthodox Church. The conservative wing of the Orthodox Church accuses him of getting too cosy with the Roman Catholic church and even of seeking unification with it. In his recent speech, Kirill sought to counter such accusations by insisting that a reconciliation with the Catholic church was out of question. New Patriarch is rather active in policy, he is often called an active player in Russia's political arena. Now Patriarch Kirill visits Orthodox churches all over the county, plans to go to Konstantinopol (Istanbul) and to Kiev. He plans to extend the Orthodox channels on TV and presses towards the strengthening of the Orthodox Church positions in Russia and in the world.

 


Tags: Patriarch Kirill Russian Church Russian clergy   




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