September 30, 2014

Patriarch Kirill’s birthday greetings to Metropolitan Jonah

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia congratulates the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America on his 50th birthday. Source: Moscow Patriarchate. Your Beatitude, Beloved Brother and Concelebrant in the Lord: I wholeheartedly greet and congratulate you on the your 50th birthday. On this day, I lift up an ardent prayer to God for you and remember with warmth the moments of our … [Read more...]

Moscow: No meeting with pope in the works

From Interfax (Oct. 7): Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk has denied reports that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia might visit the Vatican in the near future. "No preparations are being made for the Patriarch's trip to the Vatican and his meeting with the Pope at any particular place or at any particular … [Read more...]

Patriarch Kirill: Happy Birthday to Putin

Highlights from Reuters: The "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" daily published an "Ode to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin" written in a style typical of poems devoted to former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. "The country is again at a crossroads wondering whether it might perish or not," the ditty reads. "We congratulate you comrade Putin and ask God to give you another 120 years." [ ... ] Putin … [Read more...]

Patriarch Kirill: Russia needs nuclear weapons

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - The head of Russia's Orthodox Church said on Friday that Russia needed nuclear weapons. Speaking in the Volga Region town of Sarov, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said that while the Church was in favor of "a world without weapons," Russia required nuclear arms to ensure that it was able to "remain a sovereign state." Sarov is the … [Read more...]

Patriarch Kirill wants monastery that was Gulag to be spiritual center

The towers of Solovki Monastery in the winter of about 1930, when it was a concentration camp

From Ecumenical News International (26 August 2009): By Sophia Kishkovsky Moscow, 26 August (ENI)--The Solovetsky Islands off the coast of Russia's northern Arkhangelsk region – settled by monks in the 15th century – became in the 20th century a center for the Soviet Gulag system of prison camps. Now the monastery archipelago should become a spiritual center not only for Russia but for all … [Read more...]

Russia Today: Patriarch Kirill’s Trip to Ukraine

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Patriarch Kirill in Ukraine

A lot of news, in the mainstream press and on Orthodox sites, about Patriarch Kirill's current visit to Ukraine. The best analysis I've seen so far is from Andrei Zolotov Jr. of Russia Profile. Zolotov says that Kirill and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew "appear to have reached some agreement on Ukraine, which has not been revealed to the public." From the article: For an outsider who is … [Read more...]

Medvedev Supports Religion Education in Schools

Patriarch Kirill offers a caution. From RIA Novosti: BARVIKHA, July 21 -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday expressed his support for a proposal to teach religious education in Russian state schools. He also backed the suggestion that chaplains should be employed in Russia's armed forces. "I decided to support both proposals," the president said at a special meeting on the … [Read more...]

Stealing, Lying, Cheating and the ‘New Sins’

The Economist surveys recent commentary by religious leaders on economics and the environment, focusing on Pope Benedict XVI's recent encyclical Caritas in Veritate. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I gets a nod for his upcoming symposium on the Mississippi. The Economist does a passable job of summing up these issues as viewed through the lens of faith, but does recoil a bit at more "purist" … [Read more...]

Radio Free Europe: The Price Of Influence

Writing on the RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty Power Vertical blog, Brian Whitmore suggests that there may be a little too much symphonia in a recent move by Russian Patriarch Kirill to work closely with the United Russia political party. Whitmore: What motivated United Russia and Patriarch Kirill I to reach an agreement giving the Russian Orthodox Church an unprecedented voice in the … [Read more...]

Patriarch Kirill Meets with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan

Report from the Department of External Relations, Moscow Patriarchate: The head of the Turkish Government expressed satisfaction at Patriarch Kirill’s visit and the fact that he visited not only Istanbul but also the Turkish capital city of Ankara. The sides noted with satisfaction the developing relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Russian Federation. Mr. Erdogan spoke about … [Read more...]

‘Istanbul is anxious’

Lots of press attention being paid to the possible reopening of the Halki Seminary in the wake of Patriarch Kirill's visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. (The patriarch is now back in Moscow where he met with President Obama.) In his analysis of the Bartholomew-Kirill meeting for Today's Zaman, Ali Murat Yel argues for a reopening of the seminary (known to Turks as Heybeliada) if the Turkish … [Read more...]