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Source: TASS Russian News Agency Patriarch Kirill, of Moscow and All Russia, in TASS special project Top Officials INTERVIEW BY ANDREI VANDENKO On parishioners, occasional visitors, Pope Francis, Charlie Hebdo, and Leviathan — In your book ‘Life And Contemplation Of The World’ you wrote that, as a young man, you asked yourself whether a greybeard in his seventies, whom a youth deciding to take the monastic vows would once turn into, would spit at the his own reflection in the mirror. You turned sixty-eight years old recently… – The essence of the formula is that the choice I make as a…

Source: Ecumenical News by Miko Morelos and Peter Kenny The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has castigated the Greek-Catholic Church in Ukraine for being “divisive,” saying its stance puts at risk the improving of relations between Rome and Moscow. Patriarch Kirill at the same time singled out the Vatican for what he said is a measured tone in the Russia-Ukraine crisis. He pointed out that the Holy See had maintained its position on the resumption of peace talks instead of making “any lopsided assessments.” “Today, fresh conflicts in Ukraine in light of the latest political events in the country…

Source: Reuters MOSCOW (Reuters) – The head of Russia’s influential Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, said on Sunday cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were “childish” compared to offences it had dished out to Christians. Charlie Hebdo has regularly offended Muslims, Christians and others with its irreverent cartoons. Gunmen killed 12 people at the Paris office of the weekly this month saying they were avenging the Prophet Mohammad, whom the magazine had depicted in cartoons in defiance of a ban in Islam on representing its founder. Kirill, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir…

Source: Christian Today Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill called on Thursday for a deep cut in the “horrifyingly high” number of abortions, which he linked to a Western rejection of moral norms. “The idea of absolutely prioritising the value of free choice and of rejecting the priority of moral norms has become a slowly exploding bomb for Western civilisation,” he said in a speech to lawmakers. “If we could just cut in half the number of abortions, there would be steady and powerful demographic growth.” Russia’s population has been declining since the mid-1990s, hit by falling birth rates and life expectancy…

Source: Christian Telegraph The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill led the opening of the International Congress of Orthodox Youth, organized by the Youth Department of Synod on November 18, 2014 in Moscow, reports The Christian Telegraph in reference to “Patriarhiya.ru.” With the support of the Government of Moscow in the framework of the Congress an extensive cultural and educational programs for youth were implemented, themed booths and stands dedicated to different periods of the history of Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church were organized, as well as master classes and a number of other activities. Before the meeting…

Source: First Things – May 2014 by John P. Burgess On the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution, the Orthodox Church had 50,000 parishes, a thousand men’s and women’s monasteries, and sixty theological schools. By 1941, Stalin had nearly succeeded in eliminating the Church as a public institution. Perhaps only a hundred and fifty to two hundred churches remained active in the whole country, and every monastery and seminary had been closed. Although Hitler’s invasion of Russia caused Stalin abruptly to change course—he turned to the Church to help him mobilize the population for war—the Church nevertheless labored under severe restrictions until…

Source: The Christian Science Monitor By the Monitor’s Editorial Board  As violence escalates in Ukraine, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church appears to distance himself from President Putin, calling for healing and reconciliation. Churches that align with the state often learn the hard way that Caesar has his own kingdom. The struggle over Ukraine’s future took a worrisome turn Friday when more than 40 people died in political unrest between demonstrators in the port city of Odessa. The tragedy is seen by some as the start of further large-scale violence. But there is an alternative path that can reconcile the…

Source: B92 [TANJUG] Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has presented RS President Milorad Dodik with the award of the International Fund for the Unity of Orthodox Nations. The leader of the Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina (RS) received the accolade in Moscow on Tuesday. The award is given for outstanding contribution to improving the unity of Orthodox Christian peoples and consolidating and promoting Christian values ​​in society. The ceremony at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was attended by Serbian film director of Bosnian origin, Emir Kusturica, and a large number of diplomats and dignitaries from the public life of Russia, reported…

Source: Interfax Moscow, March 11, Interfax – Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has called to speed up the preparations for the All-Orthodox Council. “If really want to convene the All-Orthodox Council, we should learn to work in this regime,” the patriarch said while meeting with the heads and representatives of local Orthodox Churches in the residence of the patriarch of Constantinople in Istanbul. Patriarch Kirill said a lot of work remains to be done on the issues addressed at the Council and suggested creating an effective body composed of representatives of local Churches that could meet regularly to…

Source: ABC News By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV Associated Press In a regretful letter penned a few months before his death, Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the AK-47 assault rifle, asked the head of the Russian Orthodox Church if he was to blame for the deaths of those killed by his weapon. The Russian daily Izvestia on Monday published the letter, in which Kalashnikov, who died last month at 94, told Patriarch Kirill that he kept asking himself if he was responsible. The AK-47 is the world’s most popular firearm, with an estimated 100 million spread around the world. “The pain in…

Source: RIA Novosti MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) – The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church presented the nation’s answer to Frank Sinatra with a top award on Wednesday for his public service, adding to the flamboyant now-lawmaker’s already glittering array of decorations. Patriarch Kirill awarded Joseph Kobzon, who has in the past been denied a US visa over his purported links to organized crime, the Order of Glory and Honor second degree for the crooner’s work in “developing national culture and the moral and patriotic education of his contemporaries.” Kobzon, who turned 76 in September, was a hit singer…

Source: Virtue Online By Ralph H. Sidway, guest contributor Scarcely a day goes by now where we do not read of yet another in a constellation of initiatives being undertaken by both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian government on behalf of persecuted Christians and other victims in Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere in the world. For instance, on July 31 it was announced that a charitable drive launched at the end of June by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia had raised US$1.3 Million to assist victims of the Syrian armed conflict. That these funds will be distributed…

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