"Brothers and sisters, it is not just a human choice, it is not a choice of where to live, it is not a choice of whether to go left or right. It is a path to salvation or to ruin. . ."
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said that part of Orthodoxy in the world may go into schism under the influence of external forces and urged believers to choose "the path to salvation".
"There is a danger that part of Orthodoxy, under the influence of external powerful forces that have nothing to do with the Church, may be wounded by this sin (schism) and depart from the Source of eternal life to a place where there is only ritual, but no Salvation. This is why we especially call today to those who are still considering whether to be with the Church or with schism. Brothers and sisters, it is not just a human choice, it is not a choice of where to live, it is not a choice of whether to go left or right. It is a path to salvation or to ruin, because the path that takes us away from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church deprives us of the grace of God", he said in his sermon after the liturgy of the Baptismal Eve in the Alexander Nevsky hermitage near Peredelkino.
Not only people, but also churches, fall away from God and are deprived of His grace, the Patriarch noted.
"We must pray today for our Church and for all Orthodox churches, because through the Universal Orthodox Church divine grace is transmitted to people, so that no schisms and divisions, which the enemy of the human race is constantly sowing, will turn this or that church into something deprived of divine grace. <...> History knows many examples of such apostasy, when entire Christian communities have fallen away from the faith, distorted the true faith, joined schisms, joining with people who did not have the gift of divine grace," he stressed.
At the end of 2018, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was created at the initiative of the Ukrainian authorities and the Constantinople Patriarchate through the merger of two other schismatic structures. The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) responded by breaking off eucharistic communion with the Constantinople Patriarchate. Later, the OCU was also recognized by the chief hierarchs of the Greek, Alexandrian, and Cypriot churches.
Source: ria.ru (Russian)
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