31 January 2019, 12:22
Patriarch Kirill says service is 'heavy cross'
Moscow, January 31, Interfax - Ahead of the 10th anniversary of his election, Patriarch Kirill spoke about the way he felt and how he prayed before the election of the head of the Russian Church in 2009.
"When I became locum tenens, I clearly realized that there was a big chance of me being elected, but there could not be 100% certainty. Naturally, I prayed at that time, but I never, not once, asked the Lord to make me patriarch. I asked for God's will to be manifested and for the person who should become patriarch according to God's will to be elected," the patriarch told reporters in Moscow.
Patriarch Kirill said he realized at that time that being elected patriarch was "a great cross" because he had seen how several predecessors, Alexy I, Pimen, and Alexy II, lived.
"Of course, I could not fully see all aspects of the patriarch's life then, but it was perfectly clear that a patriarch bears a heavy cross, and I became convinced of that when I became patriarch. And because God's will was manifested on me and I was called for that ministry, I consider it my duty to bear this cross or as long as my spiritual and physical forces allow me," he said.
The past ten years were full of significant changes in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the understanding of its role in people's lives changed dramatically, Patriarch Kirill said.
He could not say how he sees the future of the Russian Orthodox Church, saying that, according to church doctrine, the end of history is the Apocalypse.
"I don't think the Church will have some glorious history after us. The Church has its problems in every era, and I don't see any signs that these problems have decreased," the patriarch said.
Kirill became Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia on January 27, 2009 with the support of an overwhelming majority of the participants in the Local Assembly, which was held soon after the death of Alexy II. The other candidates were Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk and Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Slutsk. The latter withdrew his candidacy before the election.
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