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New Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Enthroned

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Uploaded on Feb 3, 2009

Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad was enthroned as the new Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow on Sunday February 1, at the age of 62. He is the successor of Alexey II. Alexey II, the orchestrator of the Russian Orthodox Church's resurgence over the last 18 years, after decades of atheistic communism, died on December 5. According to Vatican Radio, Kirill, who has already been serving as interim Patriarch, becomes the sixteenth Patriarch of the Russian Church and the first of post-communist history. The new Orthodox patriarch is considered the soul of a more modern mp4ement, open to dialogue, particularly with the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI welcomed with joy the news of his election, and his congratulatory message requested that "the Almighty may also bless your efforts to seek that fullness of communion which is the goal of Catholic-Orthodox collaboration and dialogue." Benedict XVI assured Patriarch Kirill of his "spiritual closeness" and "the Catholic Church's commitment to cooperate with the Russian Orthodox Church for an ever clearer witness to the truth of the Christian message and to the values which alone can sustain today's world along the way of peace, justice and loving care of the marginalized." The coronation was attended by Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, and other authorities and members of the local Catholic church.

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