Sergiyev Posad, October 9, Interfax - Russian Church intends to defend sacred canons worldwide, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.
"We are finding ourselves in very difficult historical circumstances, both for our country, all of Russia, and for our Church. While remaining loyal to the sacred canons, loyal to our tradition, we did and will assert the Orthodoxy both in our country and worldwide - such is our mission. And no one will knock us off this path, no one will make us believe that violation could take place at someone's will," Patriarch Kirill said in the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius on Monday during festivities in memory for the great Russian saint.
"We remain loyal to the tradition of the Church because we wish to be its loyal flock," the patriarch said.
St. Sergius did a lot to reconcile warring principalities, and people should pray to him "to show mercy to the Universal Orthodox Church to reconcile enemies, stop the spread of the schism, especially where it is a threat also to the general national life, namely in brotherly Ukraine," the patriarch said.
He also urged the devout to pray especially "for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine."
It was reported that the Patriarchate of Constantinople's Synod will meet in Istanbul on Tuesday to discuss an autocephaly for the Ukrainian church. In April of this year Constantinople agreed to consider a request by Ukraine's President Pyotr Poroshenko to grant an autocephaly despite protestations from the Moscow Patriarchate and its Ukrainian branch which made no such request.