At the end of January 2009, the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church elected Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. His enthronement took place on February 1, 2009. The Church traditionally celebrates the day of the Patriarch’s enthronement every year as a holiday.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Your Holiness, I sincerely congratulate you and join in the words you have heard today and are still to hear. I congratulate you on the Day of your Enthronement.
You have done a great deal in these past two years. I am not referring only to the internal affairs of the Church. Much has been done to improve the relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the state, to make it even more warm and friendly, or as you often say, more harmonious. I believe you have succeeded in that, or at least that is how I see it.
I wish you health and success and would like to see you surrounded by your loyal assistants on this day. God help you in everything.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia: Thank you, Mr President and Mrs Medvedeva for the opportunity to see you on this day. I accept your kind congratulations with love, joy and gratitude.
If we talk about our efforts, I think we are all working towards the goal of changing the individual and society for the better. The state has its own way of achieving this by enhancing life on this earth, making it safer, more comfortable and more prosperous. The task of the Church lies in changing people inside, spiritually, because only a combination of human and spiritual progress can change the lives of individuals, society and all around the globe.
I thank you and the Russian government for the cooperation that exists today between the Church and the state. May the Lord bless you, the authorities of the Russian Federation and our nation.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you, Your Holiness. Once again, congratulations on the Day of your Enthronement.
Patriarch Kirill: Thank you.