22 November 2011, 13:44
Patriarch Kirill is a significant figure not only in Russia, but all around the world, the Bulgarian hierarch says
*** Many Bulgarians watch Patriarch Kirill's Saturday TV-program
Moscow, November 22, Interfax - Representative of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Dometian of Widdin is amazed by ardent faith of Russians and believes it is to a great extent an achievement of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
"Just yesterday I became a witness to overwhelming religious enthusiasm, when people stood for hours, from the darkness, from the earliest morning hours and waited for a chance to come and venerate the shrine, the Belt of the Holy Virgin. Yesterday and today there was so long line, there were young people, children, old women and even poor disabled people, who are brought here in wheelchairs, it is incredible!" the Metropolitan said as he heads the delegation arrived in Moscow to celebrate Patriarch Kirill's 65th birthday.
He pointed out that in some countries where unlike Russia the Church was not persecuted "people used to bow to clerics, the Church was respected."
"But probably as there wasn't anything to fight for, the believers have become lazy and indifferent, lost perception. And in the result they lost credibility to the Church, they lost respect to clerics, their faith became weak... God grants that after trials, after such a miraculous revival that we see today, Russia won't be affected by such spiritual idleness," Metropolitan Dometian said.
He called Patriarch Kirill "a very significant person not only for Russia, not only for Europe, but for the whole world.
"I remember the role of his public speeches in years of the "cold war" when we, clerics from the Eastern block, were considered almost agents of influence. They didn't believe our words. But today's Patriarch of Moscow then dispelled these misconceptions. He showed that we don't work for politics, for princes of this world, but the holy Orthodox Church works for the welfare of the whole humanity," the Bulgarian hierarch stressed.
He said that in his country many people "with admiration watch Slovo Pastyria (Russian for the Pastor's Word - IF) TV-program presented by Patriarch Kirill every Saturday."