Peter Anderson reports from the Orthodox world.

Longstanding reporter of the news from the Eastern Church, Peter Anderson shares our dream of a unified Christianity. His love for Orthodoxy has driven him to this personal mission to share the news of East with the world through his email list. The Urbi et Orbi Foundation is proud to share his efforts and his insights with you.

To those interested in the Vatican Kazan icon:

The Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate met today, December 8, remotely and appointed a new Metropolitan of Kazan to replace Metropolitan Feofan who tragically died of Covid.   The new metropolitan for Kazan is 59-year-old Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye.  His biography and photo are found at .  For Kirill, this appears to be a lateral move and not a promotion.  Ekaterinburg is the fourth largest city in Russia while Kazan is the sixth largest.  Also the Orthodox population in Kazan is less because the city is at least half Muslim.  However, Kazan should be a more relaxing assignment because of the conflicts that have existed in Yekaterinburg.  The conflicts included the large protests against the construction of St. Catherine Cathedral in Yekaterinburg and the rebellion and excommunication of Schema-Hegumen Sergei (Romanov).

In reviewing the official biography, there is nothing to indicate that Metropolitan Kirill has had any contacts with non-Orthodox Christians or has had any international assignments.  However, a few hours of Google searching came up with some interesting results.  The results give me some cautious optimism that he may be a good choice for a city that prides itself on inter-confessional harmony.  First, he has developed a love for the shrine of St. Nicholas in Bari, Italy.  He was part of a delegation with Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna who visited the Bari shrine in May 2016 for the feast of the translation of the relics of St. Nicholas.   In December 2017 he was there with Metropolitan Hilarion for the feast of St. Nicholas.    In December 2018 and December 2019, he led his own delegations from Ekaterinburg to Bari for the feast of St. Nicholas.;  (2019)   Second, when Cardinal Gerhard Müller was in Yekaterinburg on May 18, 2018, there was a meeting between the Cardinal and Metropolitan Kirill.  Third, Metropolitan Kirill wrote a long letter responding to the charges made by Sergei (Romanov), including the accusation that the Metropolitan has engaged in the heresy of ecumenism.  I have pasted below a Google translation of the parts of the letter relating to Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) and to ecumenism.

I hope you have a blessed Advent!  Peter


You may have your own opinion regarding the assessment of the activities of the late Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov), ​​but rejection of any of his actions does not justify the lies and slander against him.

You said: “Nikodim Rotov closed almost all the churches in Leningrad, ostensibly to save the Church.” In reality, while Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) ruled the Leningrad cathedra, the Soviet authorities were able to close only one church – Holy Trinity in Lesnoye – but as compensation they were forced to open another – Alexander Nevsky in Pargolovo. Thus, during the 11 years of the reign of Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) of the Leningrad and Novgorod cathedra, the number of churches in them did not decrease. On the contrary, he personally saved the Leningrad Theological Academy from the planned closure, and also through his efforts did not close 10 churches that were already scheduled by the Soviet authorities for closure, including the Peter and Paul Church in Vyritsa. And this despite the fact that in general, during the Khrushchev persecutions, the Russian Orthodox Church lost almost half of its churches. It is also worth noting that it was Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) who preserved the Russian Monastery on Mount Athos for the Russian Orthodox Church. Largely thanks to Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) personally, Russian monasticism now exists on Mount Athos, which you should remember as a lover of Athos and its elders.

You have slandered the service of Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) in preserving the Church in times of severe persecution, fell into impermissible slander (“Nikodim Rotov died”), showed injustice, ingratitude and historical oblivion. Which is especially criminal, given the availability of historical materials devoted to that era and personally to the activities of Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov), ​​described in sufficient detail in the church history literature.


Since the falsity of accusing me of supporting the closure of churches is too obvious, you later came up with another reason – accusing me of ecumenism and betrayal of the faith. As proof, you show a photograph of my service in the Roman Catholic cathedral in the city of Bari, where the relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker rest. But, in all fairness, you should have been the first to accuse Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker himself for daring to rest with his holy relics in a Catholic church. This, in fact, happened when, during your stay in Russia of the relics of St. Nicholas, you did not bless your spiritual children to go to worship, since these relics were accompanied by Roman Catholic priests.

The Catholic bishop of the city of Bari kindly gave the Orthodox delegation the opportunity to pray independently and without any restrictions in the church, which Saint Nicholas himself had chosen to host his holy relics. The hosts showed sensitivity and understanding that we have no right and will not agree to serve with them, which is why they did not offer joint service, knowing full well that it was impossible. You should be ashamed that you breathe hatred towards people who have shown only respect for us. The fact that I do not consider the Roman Catholic Church to be salutary does not give me the right to stop being a Christian myself and to allow hatred, anger and rudeness to enter inside me.

Anderson, Seattle USA