President Dmitry and Mrs. Svetlana Medvedev congratulated Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on the third anniversary of his enthronement. Kirill was Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad prior to being elected Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia at the end of January, 2009. The enthronement ceremony took place on February 1, 2009. It is the Russian Orthodox Church tradition to celebrate the anniversary every year.
In their meeting President Medvedev congratulated Kirill on his enthronement by saying, “Time flies, three years have already gone by, and you have done much over this time to develop the Russian Orthodox Church and strengthen the relations between church and state.”
The meeting took place at Moscow’s Danilov Monastery and Patriarch Kirill commented, “Today we can say loud and clear that (many) problems have been resolved in Russia. We see an example of this in the tens of millions of Orthodox believers who fill our churches, some coming often, others less so, who rush eagerly t see holy relics brought for display, raise their children, and work in all fields of life: as politicians, businesspeople, specialists, military men, scientists, doctors, teachers, workers, and farmers. They have no difficulty now combining their religious convictions with their professional lives and can raise their children in accordance with their beliefs.”
The Patriarch concluded his greeting by welcoming the President and his wife to the Monastery.