5 October, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 04/02/2009
The Moscow revolution: Kirill and the Curia
The main changes include the gutting of the Department for External Relations, which is losing many of its powers. New dicasteries are being created and entrusted to the new patriarch's trusted men. Metropolitan Kliment, the former Chancellor and Kirill's main competitor to succeed Alexy II, heads to the publishing advisory board. The new appointments also include a layman, as head of the newly created Information Department.

Moscow (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The first Holy Synod under the direction of newly elected Patriarch Kirill has concluded with a revolution in the Curia of the Russian Orthodox Church. In practice, the powerful Department for External Relations (DECR) is being dismantled. Kirill himself had led the department until his election as successor to Alexy II.

The DECR will be headed by Ilarion Alfeev, who until now was bishop of Vienna, and was a proponent of Kirill's election. But the department is being gutted, and the management of relations with dioceses, branches, monasteries, and parishes is passing directly under the patriarch's supervision. For this purpose, the Synod has instituted a secretariat for institutions abroad, which will answer directly to Kirill, while the DECR - according to the minutes of the Synod - will retain only "the oversight of institutes that conduct ecclesiastical diplomacy."

In the wake of the dismantling of the DECR, the meeting last March 31 instituted new dicasteries and offices. Above all, there is the synodal Department for Relations between the Church and Society, which is entrusted with the "relationship with the organisms of legislative power, with the political parties, with the labor unions, cultural organizations, and the other institutions of civil society in the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Moscow." The new dicastery will be led by Fr. Vsevolod Chaplin, one of the patriarch's trusted men, and will also have the possibility of establishing contacts with the governments in the CSI and Baltic countries.

The radical reshaping of the DECR is interpreted by many as a clear break with the most recent past of the Moscow Church - the department had been created during the Soviet era - and, together with the structural reforms introduced by the Holy Synod, it appears to be a maneuver to concentrate the powers of governance into the hands of the new patriarch.

The other new developments include the creation of a synodal Information Department, which is being entrusted to a layman: Vladimir Legojda, director of the monthly Forma, the main Orthodox periodical, with a circulation of about 40,000 copies sent to churches and newsstands all over the Federation.

Finally, a doctoral branch of the Theological Academy of Moscow has been created at the DECR, "for the purpose of improving," the minutes state, "the level of formation and specific preparation of personnel capable of managerial and diplomatic work within the Church."

The Holy Synod also accepted the resignation of Metropolitan Kliment, Kirill's main competitor in the elections for the office of patriarch. The former Chancellor of the patriarchate of Moscow, one of the most important posts in the Russian Orthodox Church hierarchy, he has been appointed president of the publishing advisory board, and has been replaced by archbishop of Saransk and of Mordovia Varsonofij.

There have also been changes in the leadership of the synodal Department for Religious Instruction and Catechesis: Ioann Ekonomcev, rector of the Orthodox Institute of Saint John, has been replaced as president by Bishop Zarajsk, former Chancellor of the patriarchate's parishes in the United States.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
06/26/2008 RUSSIA
Positive relations with Catholics, but proselytism remains a problem, says Aleksij II
Pope to write letter to Chinese bishops invited to Synod
12/10/2008 RUSSIA
Synod to elect new Moscow patriarch set for late January
11/28/2007 CHINA – RUSSIA
Russian patriarchate ready to train Chinese priests
06/24/2008 TURKEY
Moscow patriarchate abandons work for preparation of pan-Orthodox synod
by NAT da Polis

Editor's choices
Pope in the US: “We Christians, the Lord’s disciples, ask the families of the world to help us”In the last Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Francis Pope highlights the daily "little gestures" that define the family, which is “the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith". Gratitude, respect, and collaboration with families in which the Spirit operates can be found in every “family, people, region, or religion”.
Pope in the US: Without the family, the Church would not existFrancis met bishops gathered in Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families. “We might well ask whether in our pastoral ministry we are ready to ‘waste’ time with families. Whether we are ready to be present to them, sharing their difficulties and joys.” Young generations should not be blamed if they grew up with distorted values. “As pastors,” we must extend “a sincere invitation to young people to be brave and to opt for marriage and the family.”
As the pope’s visit to Cuba raises hopes, a sclerotic regime exploits it
by Tony Pino V.*As soon as he landed in Cuba, Pope Francis issued a message of faith, peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, and mercy, urging people to be child-like. As the regime conducts picture-perfect parades, ordinary Cubans pray to Our Lady of El Cobre asking for help to leave the island to live elsewhere. The US embargo has been an excuse to stifle dissent and development. So far, Cuban leaders have not done any ‘mea culpa’.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.