(biography, photos, videos) Vladimir Gundyaev
Patriarch Kirill: biography
Patriarch Kirill is a well – known personality in modern Russia, abundant whose work is respected around the world. In addition to its core responsibilities, the head of the Orthodox Church contributes to the development of Russia, deeply delves into the foreign policy of the country and maintains an active charitable program.
Born Patriarch Kirill (secular name Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyaev) to the cultural capital of Russia, on 20 November 1946 in a family of a priest. The father of the future Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia to the birth of the son was ordained a priest of the temple of the Smolensk icon of the mother of God and mother Raisa Kuchina worked as a teacher of German at a local school. Vladimir Mikhailovich in the family was a child, he has an older brother Nicholas and a younger sister, Elena, whose activity is closely connected with religion.
Childhood Patriarch Kirill went like normal children, he graduated from the eighth grade secondary school, after which he entered the Leningrad theological Seminary, and by the end of the theological Academy. In 1969, he was tonsured a monk, where he was given the name Cyril.
In 1970, the future head of the Orthodox Church and graduated from the theological Academy and received the degree of candidate of theology. From that moment began the Church work of the priest, who has reached the religious peaks and became the first Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, born in the Soviet Union.
Religious activities of Patriarch Kirill with the sources have developed rapidly. In the first year after graduating from the theological Academy and monastic vows, the priest several times higher were built in San, and was appointed representative of the Moscow Patriarchate at the Geneva world Council of churches. Three years later he received the appointment of rector of the theological Academy of Leningrad and led the diocesan Council of the Leningrad metropolis.
In March 1976, father Cyril was initiated to the rank of Bishop and became a member of the Commission on inter-Church relations and Christian unity in the Synod. In 1977, Bishop of Vyborg was elevated to the rank of Archbishop, and a year later ruled the Patriarchal parishes in Finland.
In 1978, Archbishop Kyrill became Deputy Chairman Department for external Church relations, and he started teaching at the Moscow Theological Academy. In 1984, the future head of the Orthodox Church was appointed Archbishop of Smolensk and Vyazma, and in 1986 became the administering Orthodox parishes in Kaliningrad region. Showed great diligence and desire to serve God, Patriarch Kirill, in 1989 he was appointed permanent member of the Synod, where he took an active part in the development of laws on religion and religious freedom. In February 1991, Archbishop Kirill was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan.
During the collapse of the Soviet Union and political turmoil in Russia, he has taken a clear peacekeeping stance has gained the trust and respect among the population. Then the Metropolitan has made a significant contribution to the preservation and strengthening of peace, for which three times he was awarded honorary Loviscol prize.
Back in the mid 90-ies of the Moscow Patriarchate has considerably demonstrated its political activity and the future head of the Orthodox Church has become a kind of «Prime Minister of the Russian Church.» Thanks to him, was the reunion of the Russian Orthodox Church parishes abroad, and was stable relations of the Russian Orthodox Church with the Vatican.
To the Patriarchal throne, Metropolitan Kirill came thanks to his active public and political activities. Since 1995 he led a fruitful collaboration with the Russian government and reported extensively on religious and educational issues on television in the program «pastor’s Word». Then he was able to create a concept of the Russian Orthodox Church in the sphere of Church-state relations, and in 2000 was adopted the basic social concept of the Russian Orthodox Church.
In 2008, after the death of Alexy II, the Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal throne was the Metropolitan Kirill, who in 2009 at the local Council vote was elected Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, gaining 507 votes and 677 possible. The enthronement of Metropolitan Kirill took place on 1 February 2009. The ceremony was attended by top officials of the political elite of the country, namely, the then acting President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev with his wife, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, wife of the ex-President Naina Yeltsin and the head of Moldova Vladimir Voronin. The leadership of Russia then expressed hope for further cooperation with the ROC government.
Patriarch Kirill to the present bears a Patriarchal cross. He regularly visits abroad, where he is considered a person with basic knowledge, wide erudition and high intelligence. His meetings with Western religious figures have significantly strengthened the position of the Russian Orthodox Church and expanded the scope of cooperation between Russia and foreign States.
Despite opinion polls which confirm that Patriarch Kirill’s support about 99% of the population, he has frequently been involved in scandals, widely discussed in society. He was criticized for participating in the organization of the import of tobacco and alcoholic products in Russia and the illegal use of tax incentives. Then the majority of religious leaders called the action a provocation by the head of the Orthodox Church and the intention to tarnish the name of religious person.
After this duhovnosti tried to blame the material weaknesses, which, according to Church law, he has no right. Foreign media «counted» that as Patriarch Kirill has reached 4 billion dollars. In the possession of the Chairman of the Patriarchy «turned on» the most expensive penthouse, a gold watch Breguet worth 30 thousand euros, yachts, airplanes and expensive cars.
All the scandals associated with his persona, Patriarch Kirill, has made categorical denials, and said that the funds of the Moscow Patriarchate are used for the intended direction and go to the development of churches and charity. All such statements of the Russian Orthodox Church considers attempts to humiliate and undermine his authority in the ROC, and «criticizing the Church» encourages people to spiritual healing.
The personal life of the Patriarch is in serving people and God. He according to the Church law, it is possible to have worldly family.
Children of Patriarch Kirill is his numerous flock. The head of the Orthodox Church pays special attention to charity and guardianship of children left without parental care. In addition he is deeply involved in the political processes of Russia, carries out active foreign policy and boldly expresses his opinion, even if it is contrary to the ideology of the political elite of the Russian Federation.
A special place in the life of the Patriarch is a scientific and educational activities. He is the author of several books and articles on the history of the Christian Church and Orthodox unity. In addition, he is an honorary member of the Russian and foreign theological academies and is part of the Commission on the state award in literature.