Metropolitan Kirill

Metropolitan Kirill (62) of Smolensk and Kaliningrad has been elected Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. He will be enthroned this Sunday 1 February.

Although he has expressed himself as firmly against compromise, he is generally seen as an enthusiast for ecumenism and as someone who is willing to engage with the Holy See. He has considerable diplomatic experience, having been head of the foreign relations office of the Russian Orthodox Church since 1989.

Interestingly, he has gone on record to oppose reforms of the Liturgy such as the replacement of Old Church Slavonic with modern Russian.

To get an idea of the kind of man who has been elected, have a look at this interview given last October for Spiegel Online: 'The Bible Calls it a Sin'. His interviewers are articulately and strongly hostile on moral and political questions but the Metropolitan holds his own very well indeed.

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