Monday, January 26, 2009

A New Patriarch

The Russian Orthodox Church (or the Moscow Patriarchate) is electing its new patriarch this week.

Patriarch Alexiy II, a hierarch who was widely respected in the Orthodox world, died last month. We pray that the Lord would remember him eternally, and we pray also that his successor would be God-annointed and -appointed. The MP has the largest number of Orthodox of any jurisdiction (165 of 220 million total), and its leadership is not based in a hostile territory, nor it is sweating under scandal - it is uniquely placed to speak the voice of authentic Orthodoxy to the world, without constraint or moral taint. And many Orthodox have come to expect that voice from the MP.

We would like to see that continue. We would like to see a godly man upon the patriarchal throne, a man of humility, but not an innovator or a "modernizer".

The council of bishops has narrowed the options to three men. We do not know the characters of any of the three, only what Reuters and others see fit to print, but God knows, and we pray that His will be done. From Reuters:

[In order, left to right:]
  • Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk, a 59-year-old head of the church's economic affairs widely regarded as the traditionalists' favoured candidate, polled 32 votes.
  • [Metropolitan] Kirill [of Smolensk and Kaliningrad], the church's 62-year-old top diplomat who raised hopes of a rapprochement by meeting Pope Benedict in the Vatican in December 2007, won 97 of the 197 valid votes cast.
  • Belarussian-based Metropolitan Filaret [of Minsk and Slutsk] had 16 ballots. The 73-year-old cleric has good relations with the large Catholic community in Belarus and is also close to President Alexander Lukashenko, accused in the West of crushing democracy.
Voting in the final round could differ dramatically from the first ballot because it will be held in the church's Local Council -- which unlike the Bishop's Council includes laypeople and monks.
[Bulleting, editing, reordering mine.]

- V.

No comments: