The Ambitions Of A Would-Be Orthodox Pope
This is not simply because it's mid-summer and there is so little other news. It has become evident that the new patriarch adheres to a clear political line with regard to Ukraine, one that entails regular and lengthy visits -- and possibly even dividing his time between Moscow and Kyiv.
To understand why the patriarch is showing a level of interest in Ukraine that can hardly be compared with scant attention paid by his predecessor, Aleksy II, we need to look at Kirill's biography. He is almost certainly the most influential cleric within the Russian church today. Within the Holy Synod, none of the clerics of Kirill's generation can compete with him in terms of erudition, "media savvy," and administrative ability.