Christ cross

The patriarch prays for the end of the war in Ukraine | Southern Cross

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose support for Moscow’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine has appalled many Christians, says he hopes it ends soon, but again, he doesn’t. did not condemn. During an outdoor service at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow on the eve of Orthodox Easter, Patriarch Kirill sprinkled holy water on colorful Easter breads known as kulichi and said many of they would be sent to the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine. “May God grant that this Easter gift helps those involved in this difficult conflict to calm their hearts, their minds, their souls, so that the internal strife ends as soon as possible and the long-awaited peace reigns, and with it people’s piety and faith can be strengthened,” he said. Patriarch Kirill, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has previously made statements supporting Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine, a stance that has shattered the global Orthodox Church. While speaking on Saturday about the need for reconciliation, he did not question or criticize the military campaign. “May the Lord first reconcile our people in Ukraine, in Donbass, where blood is still flowing,” said Kirill, who like Putin believes Russians and Ukrainians are essentially one people. “May the Lord heal the wounds inflicted on individuals, families who have lost breadwinners, parents who have lost their children, and children who have lost their parents.” The Patriarch’s support for the Russian military campaign, in which thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians were killed, has angered some members of the Russian Orthodox Church as well as churches abroad linked to the Moscow Patriarchate. Russia says it is carrying out a special military operation in Ukraine aimed at demilitarizing and “denazifying” the country. Ukraine and the West reject this as a baseless pretext. Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, has dropped plans to meet Kirill in June. Australian Associated Press