Moscow, February 24, 2022
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill issued an address to the hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church concerning President Vladimir Putin’s announcement this morning of a “special military operation… for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine.”
Your Beatitude! Your Eminences and Graces! Dear fathers, brothers, and sisters!
I take the suffering of people caused by the events taking place with deep and heartfelt pain.
As the Patriarch of All Russia and the primate of a Church whose flock is located in Russia, Ukraine, and other countries, I deeply empathize with everyone affected by this tragedy.
I call on all parties to the conflict to do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties.
I appeal to the bishops, pastors, monastics, and laity to provide all possible assistance to all victims, including refugees and people left homeless and without means of livelihood.
The Russian and Ukrainian peoples have a common centuries-old history dating back to the Baptism of Rus’ by Prince St. Vladimir the Equal-to-the-Apostles. I believe that this God-given affinity will help overcome the divisions and disagreements that have arisen that have led to the current conflict.
I call on the entire fullness of the Russian Orthodox Church to offer a special, fervent prayer for the speedy restoration of peace.
May the All-merciful Lord, through the intercession of our Most Pure Lady the Theotokos and all the saints, preserve the Russian, Ukrainian, and other peoples who are spiritually united by our Church!
Statements were also issued today by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania, and the hierarchs of the Finnish Orthodox Church.