Not only a person can depart from God, but also any of the Orthodox Churches said His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in his sermon on Theophany Eve at St. Alexander Nevsky Skete on January 18, 2022, patriarchia.ru reports.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church urged believers to pray for all Local Orthodox Churches, so that no schisms, planted by the enemy of the human race, “would turn this or that Church into something devoid of the Divine grace.”
“We know that not only people, but even the Churches, depart from God and are deprived of His grace,” said His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.
He reminded those present that history is full of examples of apostasy from the faith of entire Christian communities, which “entered into schisms, uniting with people who did not have the gift of the Divine grace.”
“Today, too, there is a threat that a part of Orthodoxy, under the influence of external powerful forces that have nothing to do with the Church, may be wounded by this sin and may leave the Source of eternal life to the place where there is only a rite, but no Salvation,” the Patriarch stressed.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill urged those people who are thinking about whether to be with the Church or in schism to realize that it is not just a human choice of where to live, or a choice of where to go to the right or to the left.
“This is the path to salvation or to death, because the path that leads us away from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church deprives us of the grace of God,” Patriarch Kirill stated.
“May God grant that Divine grace would overcome our sins, our temptations and would give us the opportunity in the body of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, renouncing all heresies and schisms, to ascend into the Divine Kingdom. And may the grace of God, which we all received today, multiply our weak strength and help us to keep the faith, remain faithful to the Church of God and, through our faith and faithfulness, gain salvation and eternal life. Amen,” the Patriarch concluded.