*** During the two years of Patriarchate, many things happened in the Church for the first time, the Church representative believes
Moscow, February 1, 2011
|His Holiness Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Russia.|
The election 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, the Patriarch served the Liturgy in the Christ the Savior Cathedral, while 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 since the enthronization of Patriarch Kirill, unique events had occurred in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church.
"Many unprecedented things have happened during these two years," 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 of last year, there was the first mass procession of the general public with the participation of Patriarch. The Church court became truly 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, Church life has become truly 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 respond to the most bold and daring challenges, and the major challenge is to change our society and change its moral indifference to a true spirit that is 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 all Russians today believe that the Patriarch's policy meets the interests of the society, and a growing number of people feel respect for Patriarch Kirill. Many people feel hope and excitement.