Moscow, December 19, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia says that by encouraging Christians to enter the new church established by non-canonical religious organizations, the Ukrainian authorities are showing their people the wrong path.
"Today we are especially troubled by what is happening in fraternal Ukraine. This is an obvious, vivid example of how falsehood leads people astray. [...] When the wrong path is indicated, one that tears people away from the true Church, that suggests giving up one's soul to imposters and regarding a dissenter community as a beneficial church, this is a road to a spiritual nowhere, this is a road to ruin," the patriarch said on Wednesday after a liturgy at the Ugresh Monastery of St. Nicholas near Moscow.
"When people are pushed down this path by politicians, when they are enticed or threatened to take this path, how much spiritual power people need to resist and not fall victim to this falsehood!" he said.
"We especially pray for our brethren and sisters, for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, for those who became confessors Christian faith during their lifetime [...] that no power of falsehood will ruin the spiritual life of this fraternal people and that the power of the Church continuing to preach in these difficult circumstances will not wane, even in conditions of growing sin," the patriarch said.
He said that on Wednesday, Orthodox Christians mark the feast of St. Nicholas, "the most cherished saint in Russia," and expressed hope that "God will direct the historical path of our people - the people of Holy Rus living in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and elsewhere, but united by a common spiritual ideal."