Moscow, December 12, Interfax - The Russian Church will continue resisting the schism and fighting for the unity of the Orthodox world next year, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.
"Obviously, many challenges will be met, new work will be done to strengthen the canonical purity of Orthodoxy, and even more efforts will be made to preserve the unity of holy Orthodoxy in 2020, and attempts will be made to restore unity and regain it in the places where this unity has been shaken," Patriarch Kirill said in the last meeting of the Supreme Church Council this year held in Moscow.
The schismatics have "a corrupt, killing force," he said. Speaking about that, the patriarch said he hopes that "the schism will not expand, but, on the contrary, will decrease," adding that the Lord called on Christians "to be faithful to Him even until death."
"No one is calling on us to die as martyrs now, but we all call for firmness in the intentions to preserve the unity of holy Orthodoxy and keep faithful to the canonical structure of the Church," Patriarch Kirill said.
"No matter what awaits us next year, we should always remember the Savior's words 'Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom'," he said.
The pressure on the Church has recently decreased in Ukraine, but the threats of interference in its affairs remain, he said. "What is now happening inside the schism indicates that it is without blessing," Patriarch Kirill said, adding that "there is currently a real division among the schismatics."