Moscow, November 21, 2016
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is sure that national reconciliation in Ukraine and restoration of fraternal relations between Kiev and Moscow are inevitable.
"I believe this reconciliation is not just possible, but that it will certainly take place because only a minority of the people are involved in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the minority which we see on TV screens, those who march there and repeat some aggressive slogans against Russia. There also are some Russians who cannot stand contemporary Ukraine," Patriarch Kirill told Interfax-Religion in his interview on the eve of his 70th birthday.
According to him, "if we look to the whole layer of people's lives, it refers to an 'absolute minority,'" to a conflict that "did not touch the depths." The peacemaking position of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is based on it, as "the Church knows its flock and addresses its peaceful call both to the East and the West."
Patriarch Kirill especially hopes for the mediation of the Orthodox Church in reconciliation in Ukraine.
"If the peacemaking potential of the Church is not destroyed, I think that reconciliation will certainly take place," the patriarch said, stressing that he did not postpone the thought of reconciliaton "until some kind of Roman calends," as he believes "it can happen very quickly because the disease has not touched the depth of people's lives in Ukraine and in Russia."
Thus, he considers it very important to build wise policy, continue the peacemaking efforts of the Church and pray for reconciliation in Ukraine, which the Church does every day. "We believe that the Lord will listen to our prayer, peace will be given to Ukraine and relations between fraternal countries and the peoples of Russia and Ukraine will be restored," the primate said and added that "it is impossible to live without this faith."
"What does this conflict mean against the background of a thousand years of joint history?" the patriarch wondered. "We hope and believe that the Lord will grant His mercy to the people of Russia and Ukraine, to people to whom our Church gives pastoral care," he said.