The murder of a priest in the Church is a challenge to God’s law

We all must keep firmly in our mind that the way to serve Christ and His Church is always сonnected with the confession of faith and even martyrdom. The tragic death of Father Daniel should not place in our hearts fear and faint-heartedness, and weaken our zeal in carrying out God’s work.
| 22 November 2009

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Cyril, made a statement considering the death of a priest Daniel Sysoev.

 


I deeply grieve the tragic death of the murdered Priest Daniel Sysoev. Today, at the Divine Liturgy, I have prayed for his repose. I will continue to share, with his family and bereaved congregation, a prayer that the Lord would take his faithful servant to the celestial abode.

My condolences to the mother and the children of Father Daniel, his parent – Priest Alexy, all family, friends, spiritual children and the flock of priest Daniel.

Father Daniel was a zealous pastor, working much in the field of education and giving himself to the service of God and people. Many Orthodox Christians flowed to him with love, seeking spiritual guidance, inspiration of faith, and instructions for the right path.

Any lawless deprivation of human life is a terrible sin, but the murder of a priest in the Church is also a challenge to God’s law, desecrating the shrines given to us by the Lord himself. And this sin will not remain without God’s vengeance. I hope that human justice will prevail.

However, while the names of the perpetrators are still unknown, I ask everyone to refrain from hasty accusations and harsh judgments against any persons or groups.

The main thing that we all – arch pastors, pastors and faithful children of the church – must do today is to pray fervently for the repose of the soul of the murdered priest of God. Do not forget that we are called by the Lord to keep peace among ourselves, in the Church and in the society, so that atrocities like this do not sow anger and lawlessness in our hearts.

In particular, I appeal today to our brothers and children in Christ. We all must keep firmly in our mind that the way to serve Christ and His Church is always сonnected with the confession of faith and even martyrdom. The tragic death of Father Daniel should not place in our hearts fear and faint-heartedness, and weaken our zeal in carrying out God’s work. We will firmly follow the path of Christ, for this is the way of victory over sin and evil, the way in which neither suffering nor death can stop us.

 

+ Cyril, PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA

 

20 November, 2009

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