Church leader asserts Moscow's ecclesiastical primacy


RIA Novosti, 3 January 2017


The primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill, on the day of commemoration of Metropolitan of Kiev and all-Rus Peter (who became the first Muscovite saint), recalled the attempts constantly being undertaken in Ukraine to exploit various ecclesiastical institutions, including the patriarchate of Constantinople, for destruction of the "spiritual space of Rus."


Earlier the Supreme Soviet of Ukraine appealed to Patriarch Bartholomew requesting that he recognize the independence of the Ukrainian church from the Moscow patriarchate and the deputies' appeal was supported by the president of the country and the World Congress of Ukrainians.


"Today, when many forces again are trying to tear apart the spiritual space of Rus and when they are again trying to demand from the patriarch of Constantinople separation from the primary see of the city of Moscow, in this troubled time when they are trying to add yet more church strife to political attempts to separate one part of Rus from another: our prayer is to the holy prelate Peter," Patriarch Kirill said after the divine liturgy in the Dormition cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin.


He recalled that the entire life of the metropolitan of Kiev, who transferred the metropolitan see from Kiev first to Vladimir and subsequently to Moscow at the request of Grand Prince Ivan Kalita, was devoted to "preserving the unity of Holy Rus, overcoming the disputes of the princes, gathering together the Russian spirit, and maintaining Russian Orthodoxy."


"Being a native of Little Russia, the Volyn region, and having received the Kievan see, the holy prelate realized that for maintaining the unity of Rus it would be more beneficial for Moscow to become the primary see, and he accomplished this great feat. Without him, Moscow would not have become the capital of all-Rus. He was its spiritual founder," the patriarch emphasized.


A year after he died in 1326, at the request of Ivan Kalita, Metropolitan Peter was canonized. There has not been a single saint in the Russian church who was canonized so quickly. At the site of his grave in the Kremlin's Dormition cathedral, created at the request of the holy prelate, miracles of healing began to occur almost immediately.


The day of commemoration of the holy prelate Peter is celebrated on 3 January. (tr. by PDS, posted 4 January 2017)

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