01 February 2011, 10:38
Two years' anniversary since the enthronement date of Patriarch Kirill
*** During the two years of Patriarchate, many things happened in the Church for the first time, the Church representative believes
Moscow, February 1, Interfax - On this day, exactly two years ago Metropolitan Kirill ascended the Moscow Patriarchal See to become the 16th Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The elections of Patriarch took place several days before on January 27 at the Local Council where three fourth of the Council members gave their votes for Metropolitan Kirill.
This morning, Patriarch will serve liturgy in the Christ the Savior Cathedral with further church honouring, and the secular celebration of the anniversary of this solemn occasion will be held in the Gostiny Dvor tonight. The Bishops' Council is timed to this event and will open in Moscow on February 2.
In the run-up to the ceremonious events, head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin stated that during the course of these two years elapsed from the enthronization of Patriarch Kirill, unique events had occurred in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church.
"Many things happened during the two years for the first time," Father Vsevolod said in a talk with an Interfax-Religion correspondent.
Listing the most important developments, the priest first mentioned the Inter-Council Meeting, a new deliberative assembly established by the Russian Orthodox Church, which is "according to many different people, so transparent that any similar transparency could be hardly found in the secular world, both in Russia and abroad."
"In May last year, there happened the first mass procession of general public with the participation of Patriarch. The church court became really operative for the first time. The first persons responsible for social, youth and education work were appointed to parishes," Father Vsevolod continued the list of new developments.
"So, the Church life becomes really animated under the current Patriarch and all barriers which prevented proactive people from being involved in it are removed," he noted.
The priest, however, believes the main accomplishment is that "the Church does not hesitate to put the most bold and audacious challenges in front of it, and the major challenge is to change our society and convert it from moral indifference to true spirit able to develop life on the basis of God's truth."
According to the poll conducted by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center, two thirds of Russians today believe Patriarch's policy to be meeting the interests of the society and the growing number of people feels respect to Patriarch Kirill and many feel sympathy, hope and excitement.