Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The Sixteenth


Delegates at the Local Council at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow, 27 January 2009

Metropolitan Kirill Gundyaev of Smolensk and Kaliningrad was elected the new Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, the sixteenth in the list of patriarchs, by the Local Council that just passed in Moscow. At the election, he won 508 votes, comprising 72 percent of the delegates to the Council, that is, he won a majority of the votes, as is stated in the regulations. The election of Kirill as patriarch did not cause a sensation, because, after the death of the previous Patriarch, Aleksei II, he was the Patriarchal Locum Tenens. Indeed, on the first day of the Archpastoral Council, he scored nearly half the votes of the bishops of the MP (97 out of 198).

The other candidate for patriarch, Metropolitan Kliment Kapalin of Kaluga and Borovsk, received only 169 votes, 24 percent of the ballots cast at the Council. A third contender, Metropolitan Philaret Vakhromeyev of Minsk and Slutsk and all Byelorussia, as Expert Online has already reported, withdrew his name from consideration about two hours before the vote candidacy in favour of Metropolitan Kirill. 702 delegates were authorised to vote, 700 out of that number actually cast a ballot, of which 677 were found valid and 23 were judged invalid. Metropolitan Isidor of Yekaterinodar and the Kuban, the head of the Accounts Commission of the Local Council, announced the results of the vote from the pulpit of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

President Dmitri Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin both telephoned their congratulations to Patriarch-elect Kirill. On the announcement of the election of the 16th Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, the bells in the belfry of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour rang out. First, the great Tsar Bell was rung; then, all the remaining bells were rung in the rhythmic style of the 18th century. At the same time, church bells in the Kremlin were rung in an ancient manner known as the “Reut”. At the entrance to the hall of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, several hundred people gathered with banners reading, Ваше Святейшество, поздравляем! (Your Holiness, congratulations!) and Кирилл – патиарх! (Kirill – Patriarch!). After the news about the election of Metropolitan Kirill as the First Hierarch of the MP, the crowd spontaneously exploded with shouts of Ura! and they began to chant Наш патриарх Кирилл – Господь благословил (Our Patriarch Kirill – Lord, bless him!), and they also shouted Многая лета! (((Lord, grant him) many years!) for the newly-elected patriarch. Many embraced and kissed each other.

“With full awareness of the responsibility involved, I take this lot that is handed to me, the patriarchal ministry. It is great, it is responsible, but, in the heart of this ministry is the cross of Christ, a cross of such a size that only the one who bears it can understand and feel the full weight of it”. With these words, the newly-elected patriarch addressed the more than 700 delegates of the Local Council assembled at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. He cited the words of his predecessor, the late Patriarch Aleksei II, “who repeatedly spoke of the great cross of the Patriarchal ministry. But, the First Hierarch bears this cross, not through his own strength, but, the archpastors, pastors, and the People of God bear this cross together with him, because the Church itself bears this cross together with the patriarch. So, as the bearing of the cross is shared, so, the responsibility is shared, and the glory is shared as well”, the newly-elected patriarch said. “Assuming from your hands this manifestation of the Will of God, I beg you to forgive my weaknesses, help me with your wise counsel, and aid me in bearing the patriarchal ministry”, Vladyki Kirill added.


Episcopal Delegates to the Local Council at Christ the Saviour Cathedral on 27 January 2009

The newly-elected First Hierarch emphasised, “Most of all, it was due to your petitions and prayers in the days leading up to the decision of the Local Council, uttered by innumerable people, coming from loving and faithful hearts”. After that, each of the bishops approached the newly-elected patriarch and congratulated him. Then, Vladyki Kirill went amongst the believers, who met him with rejoicing. The new patriarch blessed the gathering and thanked them for their prayers, support, and labour.

Let us recall, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad (in the world, Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyaev) was born 20 November 1946 in Leningrad. From the third generation of priests in his family, Kirill was religiously-inclined from an early age. He likes to tell how, when he was only three or four, he liked to “serve” at home, wearing vestments that his mother made for him, and when he was six or seven, he could already “serve” a molieben or litiya without errors. At school, Volodya Gundyaev was the only student who was not in the Young Pioneers. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the Leningrad Theological Seminary, and, then, he studied at the Leningrad Theological Academy, graduating with honours in 1970. Metropolitan Kirill is considered part of the school of Nikodimovtsev, the disciples of the famous Metropolitan Nikodim Rotov of Leningrad and Novgorod, which laid the foundations of the modern dialogue of Christians of different confessions.

Many of the bishops of the MP were students and disciples of Metropolitan Nikodim, including the late Patriarch Aleksei II. Specifically, Vladyki Nikodim convinced Vladimir Gundyaev to enter seminary, and tonsured him into monasticism on 3 April 1969 with the name of Kirill. The Sixteenth patriarch of the MP has passed many steps on the religious “career ladder”. Starting with a position of an instructor of dogmatic theology and the Assistant to the Inspector of the Leningrad Theological Academy and Seminary (LDAiS) (at the same time was the personal secretary of the Metropolitan Nikodim), he then became the representative of the MP at the World Council of Churches in Geneva. Then, for ten years, from 1974 to 1984, he worked as the rector of the LDAiS. In 1976 he became Bishop of Vyborg, and, a year later, he was elevated to the dignity of Archbishop. On 26 December 1984, he became Archbishop of Smolensk and Vyazemsk. Since 1986, he has ruled the parishes in Kaliningrad oblast. In 1988, his title became Archbishop of Smolensk and Kaliningrad. From 13 November 1989 he was the Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the MP. On 25 February 1991, he was elevated to the dignity of metropolitan.

Metropolitan Kirill has taken an active part in the development of the fundamental documents of the church in recent years, in the process of the reunification of the MP and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and in establishing relations with the Catholic Church. He is also known as an eloquent speaker. On 6 December 2008, the day after the death of Patriarch Aleksei II, Metropolitan Kirill was elected the Patriarchal Locum Tenens.

The formal installation of the new Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia will be held on 1 February.

28 January 2008

Expert Online

As quoted in Interfax-Religion


Editor’s Note:

Kirill’s close relationship with Nikodim Rotov bothers many, including me. Nikodim was an equivocal figure at best, and he was known to be soft on the papists. God willing, Kirill shall not sell us out to the papists or be a “moderniser” as some ignorant Western press sources are claiming. As I say, the jury is still out. I shall stand with Kirill as long as he holds the traditional Orthodox Faith full and entire. If he were to “modernise” or sell out to Rome…



The Most Horrible Tragedy of the Second World War Ended 65 Years Ago


Here is a multimedia presentation on the siege of Leningrad by Voice of Russia. Click on the URL below, then, click on the picture of the Road of Life (it is the same as the image above) or on the blue words to the right of the picture. Both shall get you to the presentation. The narration is in English.



Never, never, never again! All honour to the victims and all glory and respect to the survivors! Never forget that the Nazis and their collaborator allies did this. Remember this when we you hear Yushchenko and the Balts praise those who aided the Nazis… THIS is what they are praising. Let God see and judge!

Russian Orthodox Church Elects New Patriarch


Here is a multimedia presentation on the election of the new patriarch from Voice of Russia. Click on the URL below, then, click either on the picture of the patriarch-elect (it looks like the image above) or the blue words to the right of the picture. Either method shall get you to the presentation. The narration is in English.



The New First Hierarch of the MP Aims to Strengthen the Unity of Russian Society


On Monday evening, the Big Patriarchal Bell of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was tolled 16 times, heralding the election of the 16th Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. The Patriarch-Elect, the new First Hierarch of the MP, Metropolitan Kirill Gundyaev of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, received telephoned congratulations from President Dmitri Medvedev. Mr Medvedev said he hoped the new patriarch’s activity would strengthen dialogue between the church and the state, prop up spiritual and moral values, and promote inter-confessional harmony in Russian society. Presidential Chief of Staff Sergei Naryshkin issued a similar statement,I am confident that the decision of the Council will boost fruitful cooperation between the Orthodox Church and the state, preserve inter-religious harmony in Russia, assert the ideals of goodness, peace, and justice, and exert a positive influence on the spiritual life of Russian citizens and Orthodox Christians across the world”.

Murat Zyazikov, an advisor to President Medvedev, for his part, expressed hope that the new head of the MP would continue the efforts of the former patriarch, Aleksei II, in bolstering inter-confessional dialogue. The Russian Council of Muftis issued its approval of the new patriarch, saying that he is a worthy leader. The head of the Catholic Church in European Russia, Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, hoped that the spirit of fraternal understanding, trust, and cooperation that characterised relations between the MP and Catholics in recent years would deepen under the new patriarch. Rav Berel Lazar, the Chief Rabbi of Russia, expects further improvement in relations between the MP and the Jewish community. Pandito Hambo Lama Damba Ayusheyev, the head of Russian Buddhists, said, “I hope that the election of Metropolitan Kirill as Patriarch will help to promote religious tolerance in Russia”.

Antoine Niviere, a French historian specialising in Russian Orthodoxy, believes that Patriarch-elect Kirill shall help believers endure the hardships of crisis and become a pillar for the government. Jean-François Colosimo, professor at St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris, believed the election of the new patriarch will help Russian society to better understand the values of freedom and responsibility. He said, “This was a perfect example of the sobornost (collegiality is a weak analogue: editor’s note) of the Russian church and its faith in the people”.

28 January 2009

Vyacheslav Solovyov

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

M Colosimo should attend to his own words, for he is a member of the renegade Paris jurisdiction under the EP. This group belongs back in the Mother Church, and it refuses to act in all sobornost (odd that M Colosimo should use that word when his own group spits on it!) and come home, rather, it instigated and abetted a church schism in England recently. The OCA and the Paris group are the prodigals of the Russian Church, and both refuse to go home and be a part of the family-circle. Reflect on that… I say that only a lack of love and humility is what holds these groups back. As St Paul said, there is a time to put childish things aside. That time is now, and if the pseudo-intellectual windbags refuse to come along, well, let them be and let them rot on the vine. Unity is the watchword… kaufft nicht bei Crestwood und St Sergius


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