21 November 2011, 10:31
Patriarch Kirill feels good; his health not in danger - spokesperson
Moscow, November 21, Interfax - The press office for the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has dismissed a number of media reports about his indisposition.
"The Patriarch's press office expresses its bewilderment over the frenzy created around the health of his Holiness the Patriarch. Contrary to the allegations by various information resources, nothing is threatening his health," deputy head of the patriarchal press office deacon Alexander Volkov told Interfax-Religion.
On Sunday, the day of his 65th birthday anniversary, "due to the fatigue caused by an extremely tight schedule today and the huge amount of people willing to congratulate his Holiness the Patriarch," he decided to give his reply not after the religious service and the greetings addressed to him at the Cathedral, but at a reception ceremony, the deacon said.
It was reported that on Sunday Patriarch Kirill celebrated a liturgy at the Christ the Savior Cathedral along with the leaders of the Georgian, Polish Orthodox Churches and the Churches of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. Upon completion of the service the Patriarch received congratulations, in particular, from Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II. However, no traditional reply followed from Patriarch Kirill, which led a number of media outlets to conclude that he might have fallen ill.
Patriarch Kirill did address all the attendees during a reception at the Patriarchal Chambers at the Christ the Savior Cathedral, which was held after the religious service, Father Alexander said.
Throughout the day, the Patriarch has been receiving congratulations and met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his wife Svetlana, and the heads and representatives of manorial Orthodox Churches, the deacon said.
"All this suggests that the Patriarch is in a normal working state. The program of festivities is expected to continue tomorrow and will include various events at the Moscow Kremlin and multilateral talks between the Holy Patriarch Kirill and heads and representatives of the manorial Orthodox Churches," Father Alexander added.