Moscow, October 8, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia did not attend the traditional event marking the repose of Saint Sergius of Radonezh, which is marked on October 8, because he is quarantined.
"I would like to say with deep regret that I cannot share the joy of prayer communion with you this time. The reason is my recent contact with a person who was diagnosed with coronavirus infection. The time needed for my personal quarantine in accordance with the medical recommendations is not over yet. I decided that I cannot put you all at risk of being infected," the patriarch said in his letter to Bishop Foma, locum of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, published on Thursday.
The patriarch said the current pandemic is a serious trial, which shows the strength of prayer.
"There are two ways out of any trial, including this one: either the person breaks and loses faith and hope for God's help or he comes out of the situation stronger, with the realization that everything happens according to the Divine Providence. I hope to God that all trials will strengthen our people in faith and will cause many people to turn to Christ," the patriarch said.
In the meantime, Russian Orthodox Church spokesperson Vladimir Legoyda said Patriarch Kirill remains healthy after his contact with a coronavirus patient.
"The patriarch of the Russian Church remains in good health, he feels well, he continues working remotely," he said on Telegram on Thursday.
Legoyda said he is certain that the patriarch's self-isolation "is an example of a responsible attitude and care about the safety of the people near him in the conditions of the spread of the coronavirus infection."