Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias (1946- ), the actual First-Amongst-Equals in the Orthodox world. Over half of the entire oikumene lies under his omofor. Here, he is meeting with officers of the RVSN, the Military Strategic Rocket Directorate.
The Patriarch of New Rome was First-Amongst-Equals only because Constantinople was the place where the Christian Emperor resided. Today, the role of the Christian Emperor is not vacant, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin fills that role. Ask the fathers at the Great Lavra on the Mountain! They came out enthusiastically when he visited the Mountain a few years ago. Who’s the actual First-Amongst-Equals? It’s Kirill Mikhailovich Gundyaev, the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. Kirill is a robust and intelligent 300-pound (all muscle) Varengoi warrior wielding a sharpened war-axe; Bart is a skinny 90-pound weakling with water on the brain armed with a flit-gun.
The above photograph and text (all of it) has been copied without any changes from the blog of an American member of the Russian Orthodox Church who has a penchant for belittling converts, the Orthodox Church of America, the Greek patriarch of Constantinople, and anyone else that she doesn't care for. This is not the kind of thing we expect during the season leading up to the feast of the Lord's Nativity, but alas, this is what we have, barbaric yawp instead of brotherly love and the greeting of Christ is born! Glorify Him!
Will this world never cease infiltrating the Church and trying to tempt it to follow the road that Christ refused when satan kept offering it to Him for forty days in the wilderness?
Let's pray and hope that the new liberty of the Russian Church in its homeland does not tempt it to fall for what satan perpetually offers—ועתה אם תשתחוה לפני הכל יהיה לך׃—“If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine” (Luke 4:7 KJV).