Kyrill (Gundyayev) of Moscow

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Metropolitan Kyrill (Митрополит Кирилл), born as Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyayev (Владимир Михайлович Гундяев), on November 20 1946, Leningrad, Soviet Union, is a Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) bishop, the Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad since 1991, the Chairman of the External Church Relations Department of the Moscow Patriarchate since November 1989, permanent member of the Holy Synod.

Locum tenens of the Patriarchal See since December 6, 2008.

Early Career

He took monastic vows April 3, 1969, and April 7 of the same year was ordained hierodeacon and June 1 - hieromonk.

In 1970 Kyrill completed a degree from the Leningrad Theological Academy, where he was retained as a professor of dogmatic theology and aid to the Academy's Inspector.

Since August 30, 1970, he was a personal secretary to Nikodim (Rotov), Metroplitan of Leningrad.

On September 12, 1971, he became archimandrite and was posted as a representative of the ROC to the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva.

On December 26, 1974, he was appointed Rector of the Leningrad Academy and Seminary.

In December 1975, he was appointed a member of the WCC Central Committee and Executive Committee.

Episcopal career

In 1976, Kyrill was consecrated Bishop of Vyborg. In 1977, he became Archbishop. Since 1978, he has been the manager of the "Patriarch's parishes in Finland" (the name of the structures of the Russian Orthodox Church in Finland). In 1984, he became Archbishop of Smolensk and Vyazma. The title was changed to Archbishop of Smolensk and Kaliningrad in 1989. In 1991, he became Metropolitan.

In 1974-1984 he was the Rector of the Leningrad Spiritual Academy and Seminary.

In 1971 he was appointed representative of the Moscow Patriarchate at the World Council of Churches and has been actively involved in the ecumenical activity of the Russian Orthodox Church since then. In 1978, Kyrill was appointed Deputy Chairman, and in November 1989, Chairman of the External Church Relations Department of the Moscow Patriarchate and permanent member of the Holy Synod. He is known as active and efficient diplomat.

On 6th December, 2008, the day after the death of Patriarch Alexei II (1990-2008), the Holy Synod elected him Locum tenens of the Patriarchal throne.

On 9th December, 2008, during the funeral service for Patriarch Alexei II in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, which was broadcast live by Russia's state TV channels, he was seen and reported to have fainted at one point.[1]

On December 29, 2008, when talking to journalists, he said he was "categorically opposed to any reforms" of a liturgical or doctrinal nature in the Church.[2]

Since 1994 Kyrill has hosted a weekly Orthodox TV program on ORT/Channel One.

The conservative wing in the ROC criticized Kyrill of practising ecumenism throughout the 1990s. However, in a recent statement Metropolitan Kyrill stated that there could be no doctrinal compromise with the Roman Catholic Church, and that discussions with them did not have the goal of seeking unification.[3]


Some material from "Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk" at Wikipedia


  1. [ Russians bid farewell to Patriarch at grand funeral, Reuters, December 9, 2008, accessed 2008-12-09}}
  2. Russia's prospective church leader says opposed to reforms, RIA Novosti, December 29, 2008.
  3. Russian Church against compromise on belief-preaching with Catholics - Metropolitan Kyrill, Interfax, January 21, 2009.

External links