Kirill I (original
name Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyaev) was born on November 20th 1946
in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). He is the Russian Orthodox Patriarch of
Moscow and All Russia.
Gundyaev took the monastic name Kirill in 1969 while a seminarian. He graduated in 1970 from Leningrad Theological Academy, where he served as lecturer in dogmatic theology for one year. In 1971 Kirill was appointed representative of the Russian Orthodox Church at the World Council of Churches in Geneva. Returning to Russia in 1974, he became rector of Leningrad Theological Academy, a post he held until 1984. He became archbishop of Smolensk and Kaliningrad in 1988 and was elevated to metropolitan of that province in 1991. He was elected to the patriarchate in January 2009.
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