April 8, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 9888

Russian Patriarch At Main Military Cathedral: 'A Special Time Has Come, On Which The Historical Fate Of Our People May Depend'

April 8, 2022
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 9888

On April 3, 2022 Patriarch Kirill conducted the Sunday liturgy and delivered a sermon in Kubinka (Moscow region) at the Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces constructed from destroyed German materiel from World War II. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church urged Russian servicemen to uphold their oaths and defend their homeland at all costs. The patriarch proclaimed that no less than the historical destiny of the Russian people was currently in the balance..[1]

Coincidentally or not, Kirill's address came a day after Pope Francis speaking on a visit to Malta condemned the war in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin without mentioning the Russian leader by name. Pope Francis said:

"From the east of Europe, from the land of the sunrise, the dark shadows of war have now spread. We had thought that invasions of other countries, savage street fighting and atomic threats were grim memories of a distant past.

"However, the icy winds of war, which bring only death, destruction and hatred in their wake, have swept down powerfully upon the lives of many people and affected us all.

"Once again, some potentate, sadly caught up in anachronistic claims of nationalist interests, is provoking and fomenting conflicts, whereas ordinary people sense the need to build a future that will either be shared, or not be at all." [2]

While the Catholic pontiff's words may carry great weigh in the West, they may also help Russia's leaders to convince the populace that this is another installment of the historical struggle between the Catholic West and Orthodox Russia.

Below are excerpts from Patriarch Kirill's Kubinka sermon:[3]

Patriarch Kirill conducts the servie at the Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Force (Source:

"I am very glad to have had the opportunity today of celebrating the Divine Liturgy in this beautiful church, in the presence of our servicemen. Today, our Fatherland is going through a difficult period. Today, again, the appellation 'military man' is associated with sojourn not only in a state of peace, but also with a battlefield presence. Fortunately, our Fatherland does not often face the battlefield, but the arrival of young people into the Armed Forces who aspire to become officers, who strive to dedicate their lives to defending the Fatherland, does not evaporate. And if in peacetime this can be explained by some kind of privileges or material considerations, then in wartime. service in the Armed Forces is a true achievement, and this is exactly the time we are now experiencing. The service requires readiness from everyone who has taken the oath to defend the Motherland, with no regrets for [losing] their lives; and therefore, today our special prayer is for the Armed Forces, for our soldiers, with whom the hope for security, for freedom, for the genuine independence of our country is associated.

"Today the word 'independence' is often applied to almost all countries of the world. But this is wrong, because most of the countries of the world are now under the colossal influence of one force, which today, unfortunately, opposes the force of our people. And since this is the case, since there is large power there, then we must be very strong as well. When I say 'we', I mean, first of all, the Armed Forces - but not only. All of our people today must wake up, be attentive, understand that a special time has come, on which the historical fate of our people may depend.

"That is why today I celebrated the Divine Liturgy right here, in this church, in order to meet first of all with representatives of our Armed Forces, to address them, and through them to our entire army, to the navy, to all the defenders of the Fatherland, so that they realize the historical importance of the present moment. I want to say again and again: we are a peace-loving country and a very peace-loving, long-suffering people who suffered from wars like few other European nations. We have no desire for war or for doing something that could cause harm to others. But this is the way we have been educated by our entire history to love our Fatherland and be prepared to defend it in a manner that only Russians can defend their country.

"When I say these words, I do not utter any empty compliments. I depart from the history of our people, from the history of our Armed Forces. After all, we broke the back of fascism, which, undoubtedly, would have defeated the world, had it not been for Russia, had it not been for the heroic deed of our people. May the Lord help us today as well, so that we, being peaceful, peace-loving and modest people, are at the same time ready - always and under any circumstances - to protect our home.

"Of course, when I say all this, I do not cease to feel anxiety for all the people who live in those places where military clashes are taking place today. After all, all these are the people and nations of Holy Russia, all these are our brothers and sisters. But, as in the Middle Ages, in a desire to weaken Russia, various forces impelled the brothers to confront each other, plunging them into internecine strife, so it is happening today as well. Therefore, everything we can do must be done to stop the bloodshed and to avoid the hazard of internecine strife with all its consequences. But at the same time, we must be faithful - when I say 'we', I mean, first of all, military personnel - to our oath and readiness to 'lay down our lives for our friends', as the word of God testifies....

"To all of you, my dear ones — Bishops, fathers, brothers, sisters, servicemen, military leaders, our youth — I once again heartily greet and congratulate you on this Sunday and wish all of us to maintain [our] fortitude, the ability to pray for the Fatherland, and for ourselves, the ability to always maintain inner strength, which can be translated into different life situations, including the redoubled power of our Armed Forces. May the Lord keep our land, our Fatherland for many and good years! Amen."



[1], April 3, 2022.

[2], April 2, 2022.

[3], April 3, 2022.

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