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Posted By Eric Sammons On May 19, 2009 @ 9:12 am In Eastern Christianity | Comments Disabled
Patriarch Kirill recently celebrated his first 100 days as Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, the second-largest Church in the world. There is an interesting editoral  in the St. Petersburg Times (co-authored by Robert Moynihan) about his work thus far:
Patriarch Kirill was installed in office on Feb. 1. His first 100 days have been marked by innovation not only in terms of style, but also in substance — much like the reign of Pope John Paul II in the Roman Catholic Church…
On March 8 in Moscow, Kirill showed the type of spirit that he is bringing to his pastoral task. He warned during a Sunday sermon not to trust radical Orthodox believers who are battling for the “purity of faith” and whose motto is “Orthodoxy or death!”
“When we meet a man who claims to be fighting for the purity of Orthodoxy, but his eyes are lit with the fire of anger … if we find someone who is ready to shake the foundation of church life to defend Orthodoxy … this is the first sign of that we have a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” he said….
Today, Kirill is arguably one of the most influential men in Russia. When he was enthroned as Patriarch Alexy II’s successor in the Christ the Savior Cathedral, the church was filled with the country’s beau monde and top political leaders. The first person to receive communion from him was the first lady, Svetlana Medvedeva.
Moreover, Kirill’s vision has a fully European scope, going far beyond the borders of the country. Kirill now heads a church with about 140 million adherents, far larger than the Anglican Church and second only to the Roman Catholic Church. With a significant percent of Orthodox believers living outside Russia, this gives the church a truly global reach….
One of Pope John Paul II’s most important goals was to put an end to the scourge of atheist communism, and Pope Benedict XVI still passionately hopes to see the restoration of a unified church. While Kirill has not spoken in terms of unification, he has helped improved ties with Rome. This explains why Benedict has made numerous gestures toward Kirill of welcome and appreciation since the moment that he was elected patriarch on Jan. 27.
All of this sounds very promising and I hope and pray that Patriarch Kirill can work with Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church to promote Christianity in Europe and the whole world.
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URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2009/05/19/patriarch-kirill/
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 interesting editoral: http://www.times.spb.ru/index.php?story_id=29055&action_id=2
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