Kirill: Russians do not attack but protect borders


Eastern Europe


Patriarch Kirill with President Putin (right). Photo AFP, Alexander Nemenov

Russia has never attacked anyone. Never. It has only protected its own "sacred borders."

Patriarch Kirill said that during a sermon in the Kremlin's Cathedral of the Archangel Michael. Interfax was among the many media that reported the words of the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church.

"We do not want to fight anyone. Russia has never attacked anyone. Surprisingly, a great, strong country has never attacked anyone; it has only protected its borders. God grant that our country remains strong, potent and beloved by God till the end of times," the Patriarch said.

He prayed for God "to bolster faith, piety and wisdom of our people and to give us strength always to work, live and, if necessary, fight to preserve the free and independent lifestyle of our people and our country."

Don't bless the war

Nice words, but not true. That was the message from the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (Constantinople) in an interview with the newspaper Kathimerini. "You can't claim to be a brother of another people and bless the war your state is waging against your brother." His words were reported by the Religious Information Service of Ukraine.

War is the "most disgusting and unacceptable imprint of a destructive and decadent situation, which, unfortunately, humanity remains a hostage to. A reality that stands in stark contrast to the teachings of our Lord", the leader of all the Orthodox churches worldwide said. According to him, it is impossible to say that this war is "sacred".

Kirill gets much criticism these days, because of his loyalty to the Russian government and President Putin, especially during the war against Ukraine. Last weekend, the Roman Catholic Pope Francis said that the Russian Patriarch was like an "altar boy" for Russian President Putin.

The Patriarch has quite a romantic vision of nation and fatherland. For him, these are not just earthly realities, but they have something sacred and are part of his faith. According to the Orthodox teaching, the church is called to "symphonia" (harmonic cooperation) with the state. The separation of church and state is a Western phenomenon unknown in the East.

Sanctions against Kirill

The European Union is preparing sanctions against the person of Kirill. That would imply travel restrictions against the church leader. According to [Interfax], the spokesperson of the Russian church said that the Patriarch was not impressed, according to Interfax.

Also, Ukraine is developing sanctions against the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church. This is not only about Patriarch Kirill but also Metropolitan Hilarion, Metropolitan Tikhon and Archpriest Nikolai Balashov. This was reported by the Union of Orthodox Journalists.

The background of the Ukrainian sanctions is the "criminal activities" of Kirill and his deputies. In April, Members of Parliament in Kyiv presented a bill to ban the Ukrainian churches connected to the Moscow Patriarchate. Last week, however, it became clear that the parliament would not debate and ratify this bill because it would threaten national unity.



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