Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'

The Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus' (Russian: Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Patriarkh Moskovskij i vseja Rusi), also known as the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, is the official title of the Bishop of Moscow who is the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is often preceded by the honorific "His Holiness". While as the diocesan bishop of the Moscow diocese he has direct canonical authority over Moscow only, the Patriarch has a number of church-wide administrative powers within and in accordance with the charter of the Russian Orthodox Church.[1] The patriarchate was established in Moscow in 1589: the first patriarch was Job. Abolished in 1721 by Peter the Great, the patriarchate was restored on 28 October (11 November) 1917, by decision of the All-Russian Local Council. Patriarch Kirill acceded to this position on 1 February 2009.[2]

Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'
Monogram of Patriarch Kirill
Patriarch Kirill
since 1 February 2009
StyleHis Holiness
First holderJob
CathedralChurch of the Twelve Apostles, Moscow Kremlin


Different variations of the title "Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia", "Patriarch of Moscow and all the great and small, and White Russia" and others have been used. The modern form, "Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'", was initially used in 1589 (when the see was elevated to patriarchate) through 1721 (when abolished by Peter the Great). The current version of the title was restored beginning in 1917 until suspended by Soviet authorities in 1925, and since being reinstated with the election of Metropolitan Sergius as patriarch in 1943.[3]


Church reform of Tsar Peter I

Upon the death of Patriarch Adrian in 1700,[4] Peter I did not permit election of a new patriarch; after 20 years he established a Theological College, soon renamed the Holy Synod, which, as a public body, acted as the general church administration from 1721 to January 1918 - the emperor (to 2 March 1917) as "extreme Judge this Board." In the subsequent period, the Synod of Church authorities and public administration in Russia and considered as institutions of public administration.


The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church was restored by decision of the All-Russian Local Council on 28 October (11 November) 1917. The first patriarch elected after restoration was Saint Tikhon, Metropolitan of Moscow.[5]


According to the Charter of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted in 2000,[2] patriarch is a life tenure, and the right to trial of a deposed patriarch as well as the question of his retirement belongs to the Council of Bishops.

Between terms, Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church elects the chair from among its permanent members of the locum tenens of the Patriarchal throne. "Not later than six months after the release of locum tenens of the patriarchal throne, and the Holy Synod of the local council ... shall convene to elect a new Patriarch of Moscow and All the Rus'."

The candidate for the patriarchs must be a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, not younger than 40 years old, have a "higher theological education, the expertise of the diocesan administration".

The procedure for the election of the patriarch of the charter was not detailed, "place-holder establishes the procedure for electing the Holy Synod". In 2011, the Presidium of the Inter-Council Presence reviewed the draft document "The procedure and criteria for the election of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia" and decided to send it to the diocese for comment and publish to the discussion. In the 20th century, Metropolitan Tikhon as patriarch was elected by lot from the three pre-approved for the Local Council candidates; between rigid state control over the affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church Sergius, Alexy I and Pimen were elected uncontested open vote on the approval of the government.

Alexius II was elected to the Local Council in 1990 by secret ballot in the first round, which was attended by three candidates approved by the Council of Bishops earlier (and local council had the right to add to the list of new candidates), and the second - the two candidates with the most votes in the first round.

Kirill I was elected on 27 January 2009 by the ROC Local Council (the 2009 Pomestny Sobor) as Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus' and Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, with 508 votes out of 700. He was enthroned on 1 February 2009. The Patriarch enters the dignity during a special ceremony of enthronement, which is held a few days after the election.

See also


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