26 July 2008, 21:11
Thousands greet head of Russian Church during Kiev visit
Kiev, July 26, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia was greeted by thousands of people on the streets of Kiev, where he arrived from Moscow on Saturday, an Interfax-Religion reports.
Streets adjoining the Monastery in the Caves were chock-a-block with people waiting for Alexy II to arrive.
When the Patriarch's motorcade came into view, the crowd began to chant, "Alexy II - our Patriarch."
Religious banners, white-blue-red Russian tricolors and the black-gold-silver tricolors of the Romanov imperial house were to be seen, and many were holding large pictures of Alexy II.
Some were holding banners reading, "Let Autocephaly go to hell!", "Triune Russia, indivisible Church!" ("triune Russia" meaning a union of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus) and "Alexy II - our Patriarch."
Applause broke out when Alexy rose to a platform in front of the monastery's main church.
The Patriarch and the head of the Moscow-controlled Ukrainian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Vladimir led a worship service in which they prayed to Monastery in the Caves monks who have been canonized.
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