Kirill I, Patriarch

(1946– )
   Religious leader. Born Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyayev, Kirill I is the current Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus and the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). He was enthroned on 1 February 2009 in the wake of his predecessor, Alexius II’s death; the event was attended by President Dmitry Medvyedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Kirill previously served as Bishop of Vyborg, from which he oversaw Finland’s Orthodox community, and the Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, as well as the chair of the ROC’s Department for External Church Relations. Despite his purported openness to dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, he is viewed as highly conservative and opposed to any major changes in religious doctrine.
   See also Religion.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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