New patriarch enthroned

The newly elected head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has been enthroned at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour cathedral on Sunday, February 1.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have both attended the ceremony.

“It’s a major event in the life of our country and for all Orthodox believers. It opens a new era of the development of Orthodoxy in our country and creates conditions for a dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the state. Russia is a state where people of different religions live. The mission of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia is very important,” Dmitry Medvedev said.

Father Georgy Roshchin from the department of external affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church and Christopher Hill from the Church of the Resurrection in Moscow, have been commenting on the elaborate centuries-old enthronement ceremony for RT.

Father Christopher Hill explained that the new patriarch was the church's senior diplomat, and his background will add to the development of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“He is a man of great energy. He has visited most countries of the world, he speaks quite good English and he is very good in dealing with the world beyond the confines of church life,” Father Christopher said.

And Father Georgy Roshchin has said Patriarch Kirill views the current economic problems as a result of a lack of morals in everyday life.

“Patriarch Kirill says that all these economic problems are connected with the moral life of society and that’s the key issue of his newly-coming service,” Father Georgy said.

Kirill was elected Patriarch on January 27. He succeeds Aleksy II, who passed away late last year. Patriarch Kirill is known for his drive towards moving the Russian Orthodox Church closer to the international community.

“I will always be open to dialogue with sister Christian churches. We must work together to promote co-operation between different churches. We must also work to provide support for the younger generation, which is experiencing a decline in moral values,” Patriarch Kirill said.