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  Monday, December 9, 2019
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Patriarch Kirill, the new head of the Russian Orthodox Church,
Patriarch Kirill, the new head of the Russian Orthodox Church, will continue to present his weekly television program, a senior Russian Orthodox Church bishop said Friday.

Bishop Ilarion of Vienna and Austria, who represents the Church at European international organizations, told RIA Novosti that Pastor's Word will be broadcast Saturday mornings on Channel One as usual.

Kirill, who was elected the 16th Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia on January 27, has hosted the program for almost 15 years.

"We have had nothing of the kind in this country - with the church leader anchoring his own program on television," Ilarion said, adding that he knows no such cases in other churches either. "I think this is unprecedented."

Asked about the importance of Patriarch Kirill's decision to continue to present the program, Ilarion said: "This program's significance and its unchangeably high rating were conditioned by the personality of Metropolitan Kirill as an outstanding preacher and missionary, a person capable of speaking in very simple language about very complicated things. That's why the program has struck a chord in the hearts of millions of people."

Ilarion also said that as "the program will be anchored by the Church leader, a person vested with the supreme power and responsibility," his "every word will have a special authority."

Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad succeeded Patriarch Alexy II, who died in December at the age of 79. Kirill was enthroned February 1.


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