Moscow, January 11, 2018
Visiting a humanitarian center for assistance for women in crisis situations on the feast of the Nativity, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia noted that the Russian Orthodox Church is ready to take children whose parents are unable to raise them, reports RIA-Novosti.
“If a woman finds herself in a situation where she hasn’t had an abortion, but she cannot raise her child, it is necessary that such children be given to us [the Russian Orthodox Church—RIA], not depriving the woman of her motherhood,” the patriarch stated.
He also noted that such a system should not be compared with an orphanage, as the woman “can come and take her child at any moment.”
In turn, Bishop Panteleimon of Orekhovo-Zuevo, the Chairman of the Synodal Department for Charity, noted that several monasteries already have active centers for family placement, where children live whose parents are either not ready or unable to raise them.
The Humanitarian Center for Pregnant Women, and Needy and Large Families was created by the Orthodox “Mercy” service, where families can receive women’s and baby clothing, diapers, hygiene products, strollers, cribs, and toys. There are 126 such centers in Russia today, and another 30 are expected to open by the end of 2018.
Pat. Kirill also visited a homeless center “Hangar of Salvation” on Nativity, also operated by the Mercy service. He called for the development of social assistance in every church, promising not to leave people in need. The hangar, which first opened in 2014, is the sole complex in Moscow where the homeless can warm up, eat, receive first aid, wash, get a haircut, and get warm clothes.
The Russian primate wished his audience to find a way out of their plight, promising that the Church will help however it can. “There are very poor people, and I am convinced that the responsibility of the parish extends first to them,” Pat. Kirill stated.
The “Hangar of Salvation” helps about 100 homeless people every day, with about the same number being able to return home every month. The hangar is one of nearly three dozen social services of the Mercy project.