The message of Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church: “I urge you to avoid civilian casualties and overcome divisions and disagreements”
VATICAN CITY “I urge all parties to the conflict to do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties. I invite the entire Russian Orthodox Church to offer a special, fervent prayer for the rapid restoration of peace ”. A few hours after the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, the words of Kirill, patriarch of Moscow and head of the Russian Orthodox Church, are very significant and by no means taken for granted. The tension between Russia and Ukraine is reflected in the increasingly bitter division between the Orthodox churches of the two countries. Yet the two floors do not overlap and Kirill, the highest Russian religious authority, is worried. After all, there are Orthodox faithful who have remained linked to the Moscow Patriarchate who live in Ukraine and a survey by the “Razumkov” center, the agency informs Asianews, showed that 65.2 percent of respondents do not agree with the military operation. Kirill’s speech, “regarding President Vladimir Putin’s announcement this morning of a” special military operation … for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine “”, is addressed to hierarchies, clergy and faithful: “I appeal to bishops, pastors, monks and laity so that they provide all possible assistance to all victims, including refugees and people left homeless and without means of subsistence “. He especially he writes: “I feel people’s suffering with deep and heartfelt pain caused by ongoing events. As Patriarch of all Russia and primate of a Church whose flock is found in Russia, Ukraine and other countries, I deeply sympathize with all those affected by this tragedy“. The patriarch of Moscow adds: «The Russian and Ukrainian peoples have a common secular history that goes back to the Baptism of Russia by the Holy Prince Vladimir the Equal to the Apostles. I believe this God-given affinity will help overcome the divisions and disagreements that have arisen and that have led to the current conflict.“. The conclusion is solemn: “May the almighty Lord, through the intercession of our most pure Lady Theotokos (in ancient Greek means Mary” Mother of God “, ed) and of all the saints, preserve the Russian, Ukrainian and other peoples who are spiritually united by our Church “.