In some areas of church life, innovation is appropriate, but the practice of engaging in worship online is abnormal, due to the exclusivity of the current environment said His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in an interview with Forbes France magazine on October 24, 2021.
He noted that the Russian Orthodox Church broadcast services during the most difficult days of quarantine restrictions, when the doors of churches were closed and people were able to attend the services at least in front of their computers and TV screens. However, the Patriarch called this situation abnormal and noted that the believers returned to personal attendance at services as soon as the opportunity arose. He reminded of one of the missions of the Church in the world, which is to perform the Sacraments established by the Savior.
“For us, the “virtual church” is a surrogate that cannot accommodate the fullness of human communication and communion with God, just as a flavoring additive cannot replace the genuine taste of the product,” Patriarch Kirill stressed.
However, in other areas of Christian life and ministry, he believes innovation may be appropriate.
“The Church has always willingly used new technologies in the field of printing or architecture, and today it uses electronic technologies to preach the word of God, the community of priests-bloggers is actively developing, and mobile missionary applications are also being created,” His Holiness Patriarch Kirill pointed out.
He also said that during last year’s lockdown, the “Support Your Temple” movement became widespread, when parishioners, who were unable to attend services in person, sent donations to churches via the Internet.