Deacon Andrei Kuraev (1963- ), contemporary Russian preacher, theologian, and missionary
Deacon Andrei Kuraev, a Professor at the Moscow Spiritual Academy, believes that any future Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia should have a marked aptitude for missionary outreach. “The Moscow Patriarchate needs a patriarch who can make people fall in love with Orthodoxy. He should be able to send a ‘message’ to young people that Orthodoxy is not only a legacy of Russia’s past, but, also a part of its future. He should stress that the ultimate thing is Heaven above us”, Fr Andrei said at a press conference in Odessa. In his opinion, “The propaganda of death in today’s youth culture has too many faces, advocating homosexuality, drugs, and contraceptives, with a casual attitude to abortion. Abortion is viewed as a minor cosmetic surgery to improve the figure”.
“Therefore, we can set only one thing against this kind of ‘thoughtless tsunami’, that is, a world of ‘religious super-values’, through the means of a ‘missionary breakthrough’ in the MP”, Fr Andrei, himself a well-known missionary, believed. “It is too late to preach at our grandmas that abortions are no good and that contraception may cause their children to become migrant workers in Moscow. Consequently, we must convey these ideas to young people”, Fr Andrei said, and added, “I know no one amongst the ranking bishops other than Metropolitan Kirill” who could successfully meet such challenge. “There was nothing unexpected in the election of Metropolitan Kirill as the acting head (of the Church: Interfax). We need a comparatively young and vigorous man in this position”, the Ukrainian website Ekho (Echo) quoted Deacon Andrei as saying.
17 December 2008
Methinks that Deacon Andrei is speaking with a deliberately-forked tongue. Not for nefarious reasons, of course. If one looks at his description, it fits Kirill Gundyaev not at all. Kirill is no missionary, he is a bureaucrat through and through, he is windy, verbose, and rambling, as anyone who has read his speeches comes to realise in very short order. At age 62, he is on the old side for a “young” candidate. Indeed, there is a bishop who meets all of Deacon Andrei’s criteria… that is, Archbishop Vikenty Morar of Yekaterinburg, who is 55, vigorous, a missionary, and a man who cleaned up a corrupt diocese. Kirill is known for his ambition and non-tolerance of opposition. Deacon Andrei is being coy to save his own skin in the short term. By the way… Kirill is not capable of leading people to “fall in love with Orthodoxy”, whereas Vladyki Vikenty has that ability in spades. May the latter be elected and let the former “give speeches, issue ghost-written books, and jet about the world”, as a clerical friend of mine put it. Amen!