January 14, 2013 1 Comment
You see, even Patriarchs, the spiritual leaders of the Church, have spiritual fathers to confess their sins and ask for guidance! None is perfect or sinless!
January 6, 2013 32 Comments
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has said that the diversity of ideas inherent in church circles sometimes assumes absurd forms in the Internet environment.
“In the web space groups of church liberals and conservatives are appearing that are not looking for the truth, divine truth but a means of finding fault, stinging each other. This is a very sad tendency,” he said at a diocesan assembly in Moscow ahead of New Year.
He said that divisions and feuds within the church “are evidence of infantility, childishness in faith which sometimes assumes ruffian forms.”
“But if for the media format of contacts such phenomena are quite natural as they comply with modern ideas of the freedom of though, they are deeply alien to our centuries-old church tradition, as they are alien to the very spirit of Evangelical teaching,” the Patriarch said.
November 16, 2012 Leave a comment
The Russian Patriarch is a powerful and influential man, make no doubt about it…
The conflict over unpaid water bills of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has been resolved, the spokesman for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.
“The Holy Sepulchre Church’s water debts have been written off, not without the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church after Patriarch Kirill met with Israeli President Shimon Peres,” Deacon Alexander Volkov said on Wednesday while summing up the five-day visit by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to the region.
Volkov, who heads the Patriarch’s press service, added that the news was announced by Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov at his meeting with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Russian Church’s Department of External Church Relations.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which has for centuries been one of the most important pilgrimage destinations for millions of Christians as the purported site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, earlier in November threatened to close its doors as its bank account was frozen over a debt to an Israeli water company.
The church had been exempt from water charges in a tacit agreement with Jerusalem authorities for decades but the Hagihon company, which took over water supply to Jerusalem in the late 1990s, recently demanded payment of a $2.3 million bill dating back 15 years, including interest.
Volkov said the Israeli authorities have written off the Holy Sepulchre Church’s water debt for the past seven years…
Patriarch Kirill arrived in Jerusalem on November 9. It was his first visit to the Holy Land since he was elected to head the Russian Orthodox Church in 2009. During his stay, the Patriarch visited Christian holy sites in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan. He also met with Peres and Jordanian King Abdullah II.
November 12, 2012 1 Comment
Jerusalem – Israeli President Shimon Peres said he will always remember Russia’s exceptional role in the victory over fascism.
“I will never forget that Russia together with the allies emerged victorious from World War II, paying the dearest price for the victory – the lives of 30 million citizens who dealt the strongest blow on Nazi Germany and saved the world from a disaster,” Peres told Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on Sunday.
“Therefore, the Red Army deserves the highest praise and honor. That war demonstrated vivid cooperation between the United States, Europe and Russia. Russia indeed saved the world from total annihilation. We will never forget that Russia saved our people, putting an end to gas chambers and crematoriums,” Peres said.
One third of the Jewish people perished in World War II, he said. About half a million Jews served in the Red Army and about 250,000 of them were killed in battles and 160,000 got high military awards and ranks, he said.
Israel profoundly respects the Russian Orthodox Church and other religions, he also said.
“We want to guarantee the safety of this religion, so Orthodox believers could pray according to their canons and rules. We will do everything we can for that and for ensuring their physical and spiritual peace,” he said.
The Russian Patriarch said that Russian-Israeli relations have reached “the highest point in the Israeli state’s history, which is largely due to political change observed in the late 20th century.”
No other non-Slavic country has so many people speaking the Russian language, he said. Following the “wise decision” to scrap visas between Russia and Israel, the number of Russian pilgrims has reached hundreds of thousands, Patriarch Kirill said.
November 10, 2012 Leave a comment
Plenty of photos here.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, who arrived in Jerusalem on Friday, was accompanied by a solemn procession of clerics and laypeople on his way from the Jaffa Gate to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre inside the Old City.
Thousands of believers gathered in front of the church, which is the holiest site for Christians across the world, to greet Patriarch Kirill and Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, who met him. The two patriarchs held a short divine service.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre has for centuries been one of the most important pilgrimage destinations for millions of Christians as the purported site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Patriarch Theophilos III addressed Patriarch Kirill, for whom it is the first visit to the Holy Land since he was elected to head the Russian Orthodox Church in 2009, with a solemn speech, in which he noted the importance of brotherly relations between the two Orthodox Churches.
Patriarch Kirill said each Christian dreams of visiting the Holy Land. “For the first time I have come to the Holy Land to offer prayers on behalf of the entire Russian Church that chose me as its Primate,” the patriarch said, adding that he will in particular pray for peace around the world. During his six-day stay, Patriarch Kirill is expected to visit Christian holy sites in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre earlier in November threatened to close its doors as its bank account was frozen over a debt to an Israeli water company. The church had been exempt from water charges in a tacit agreement with Jerusalem authorities for decades but the Hagihon company, which took over water supply to Jerusalem in the late 1990s, recently demanded payment of a $2.3 million bill dating back 15 years, including interest.
Theophilos III even wrote letters to the leaders of Russia, Israel, the United States, Greece, Cyprus and Jordan with an appeal to intervene with the standoff and put a stop “to this flagrant act against the church.” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the presidential administration will thoroughly study Theophilos’s request for help.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem shares control of the church with the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate and the Roman Catholic Franciscan Order through complicated arrangements essentially unchanged for centuries. The site, located within the Christian Quarter of the walled Old City of Jerusalem, attracts more than 1 million pilgrims annually.
November 8, 2012 4 Comments
Moscow (AFP)- Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Friday will make his first visit to the Holy Land since becoming head of the powerful church in 2009, in a trip which underlines his global influence as a religious leader.
Kirill’s first official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories will be held “under the sign of peace,” spokesman of the Russian Orthodox Church, Father Alexander Volkov, told AFP.
The visit will see Kirill meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, the Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas and King Abdullah II of Jordan in a new sign of his importance as a global religious figure.
His trip “is the most important (religious) visit (to Israel) since that of the Pope Benedict XVI” in 2009, Israel’s foreign ministry said.
Spokesman Volkov however ruled out any political dimension of the visit amid the search for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and analysts stressed its symbolic nature despite the growing power of the church at home.
The “visit has not and cannot have a political aspect,” Volkov said.
“It is chiefly a diplomatic visit, which will have no major consequences,” religious affairs analyst Vladimir Oivin said.
“The Patriarch will try to play a pacifying role” in the region, but his initiative “will probably have few results,” he added
During his six-day stay, Kirill, 65, is due to celebrate Mass with Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theoplilos III and meet with other local Christian leaders.
He will also visit main Christian sites, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre — currently in the middle of a conflict between its co-owner, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and an Israeli water supply company.
The Greek Patriarchate has been seeking Russian President Vladimir Putin’s help amid a dispute with Hagihon water supply company which saw Patriarchate’s bank accounts frozen as the company claimed 9 million shekels ($2.3 million, 1.8 million euros) in arrears.
Analysts said that Putin-backed Kirill’s eventual intervention with the matter would demonstrate significant influence he wields beyond his country over a community totalling some 150 million Orthodox Church members.
Amnon Ramon, an expert on Christianity at the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies and the Hebrew university, said that the Russian Church with Putin’s backing has become a globally-important Christian community.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate “might use the powerful Russian leverage to resolve issues such as the dispute over the water bill of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,” he said.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, some 1.2 million Russians — a quarter of them Christians — immigrated to Israel in the 1990s.
Israel is currently home to some 120,000 Arab Christians and 250,000 Orthodox Christians, according to different estimates.
The Russian Orthodox Church has seen a huge upsurge in power after the fall of the atheist Soviet Union and its leaders take a strong stand on moral issues that the Kremlin hardly ever ignores.
I wonder if he’ll help pay the Sepulchre’s water bill?
July 26, 2012 3 Comments
The Huffington Post reports:
Kiev, Ukraine — A bare-breasted feminist activist bearing a threatening message on her body tried to attack the Russian Orthodox Church’s leader Thursday to protest alleged anti-Ukrainian policies by the church and the Kremlin.
The protester with the controversial Ukrainian women’s rights movement Femen managed to get a meter (yard) within Patriarch Kirill at Kiev’s airport, but was stopped by a security guard and a priest.
The woman, identified by Femen as Yana Zhdanova, had the words “Kill Kirill” written on her back in large black letters and shouted a phrase from a religious ritual that aims to expel demons, roughly translated as “Kirill, go to hell.”
Police said the activist was being held at the airport and will soon be taken to court, where she may face a fine or several days in custody.
The commotion highlighted the tension between Moscow and Kiev as Ukraine tries to move out of Russia’s shadow politically, economically and spiritually.
Ukraine’s main Orthodox Church still answers to Kirill’s Moscow Patriarchate, and two smaller but increasingly popular independent churches are not recognized by world’s Orthodox leaders. But there is a growing movement to create a strong, unified Ukrainian Orthodox church that would be Moscow’s equal.
The incident also underlined the relative freedom and democracy of Ukrainian society compared to Russia, where three members of the feminist rock band Pussy Riot have spent months in prison and face up to 7 years in jail for performing a “punk prayer” against Russian President Vladimir Putin from a pulpit of Moscow’s main cathedral.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said it will not press charges against Zhdanova.
“The girl has been shamed and lectured and I think this is quite enough,” church spokesman Vasily Anisimov told The Associated Press. “If we put a policeman next to every sin … what will our life become?”
Kirill did not react to the incident, proceeding to talk about his visit to a group of reporters. He is in Ukraine on an annual worshipping trip.
Femen has gained prominence for staging topless protests against all kinds of political and social problems – from the shortage of hot water to women’s rights in the Muslim world to domestic pension reforms. But critics say Femen members are more interested in self-promotion than real reform, and that their antics are often tacky and undermine the cause of their protests.
The Moscow Times has more and a photo:
April 5, 2012 Leave a comment
The Russian Orthodox Church has admitted it doctored a photograph of Patriarch Kirill on its website to erase his expensive watch, after bloggers highlighted the efforts.
The Telegraph reports:
The picture in question shows the patriarch sitting at a polished wooden table with Russia’s Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov in 2009.
While his wrist appears to be covered with a black tunic, a reflection on the table reveals a fancy watch.
“Employees of the press office’s photo department have made an absurd mistake while working with the photo archive on the website,” a statement circulated by the patriarch’s press service said.
“Why a crude violation of our ethics was committed is something that will be carefully investigated, and the guilty will be severely punished.”
“They have completely lost their minds in the Russian Orthodox Church,” wrote Vadim Petrichenko, a blogger who was the first to find the doctored photo and put it on his Facebook page on Wednesday evening.
The photos were replaced with the original undoctored version Thursday.
Patriarch Kirill’s watch has been a subject of controversy ever since he wore it on a visit to Ukraine in 2009. Perceptive observers identified the model as a Breguet, which costs about 30,000 euros.
The patriarch last week denied that he wears such a watch and called any photo evidence a collage.
The church is currently suffering through a public-relations nightmare…
I keep saying this: Don’t lie. Be honest. The truth will come out, one way or another… It always does! And it really looks especially bad when leaders in the Church are found out.