To His Eminence Mitrophan, Archbishop of Gorlovka and Sloviansk
I sorrow deeply over the deaths and wounds of people as a result of the artillery shell that fell in the Church of Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt in the town of Kirovsk during the evening vigil.
The tragedy that occurred has once again shown us all the abysmal abnormality and sinfulness of what is happening now in southeastern Ukraine. A multitude of people are perishing—not only those who are participating in armed conflicts, but also peaceful citizens. Orthodox churches are being destroyed by artillery fire in a county where the leadership and majority population confess Orthodox Christianity.
I have addressed the Ukrainian authorities and the international community, calling for the cessation of this fratricidal war and that there be dialogue—no matter how hard it might be, no matter how different each side’s positions might be, no matter how many bitter words have been aimed in accusation against each other. Unfortunately, my call remains unanswered.
What happened yesterday has shown yet another clear testimony to the necessity for immediate cessation of firing on both sides. Otherwise, innocent people: the elderly, women, and children will be further condemned to death in the conflagration of fratricidal war.
I ask you to convey my condolences to the families of the dead and words of consolation to the injured. I raise my prayers for the repose of the souls of the perished, for the speedy healing of the wounded—Archpriest Sergius and parishioners. And I pray especially fervently for the return of peace to the Ukrainian land.
With love in Christ,
+Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia