Date: September 26, 2022 02:07PM
Hey, wait a minute -- I thought only Jesus can (supposedly) absolve you from sin -- at least in Christianity. Maybe Kirill has a toll-free hotline to the Almighty...https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/orthodox-church-leader-says-russian-soldiers-dying-ukraine-will-be-cleansed-sin-2022-09-26/
Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church, said during a sermon that when a soldier, driven by a sense of duty, dies on the battlefield, his death is “equal to the sacrifice.”
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has told Russian soldiers that death in Ukraine will absolve them of all sins.
Patriarch Kirill, who in February justified Putin's decision to invade Ukraine on spiritual and ideological grounds, made the remarks after Moscow said up to 300,000 reservists would be called up to fight.
The decision has sparked pockets of protests across Russia, with one monitoring group reporting more than 700 people being detained in 32 different cities.
Russia's top priest said: "Willingness to make sacrifices is the greatest expression of the best of human qualities.
"We know that today many die in the fields of internecine warfare. The Church prays that this battle will end as soon as possible, that as few brothers as possible will kill each other in this fratricidal war."
He then went on to reassure those called up to fight that should they die, their death would be a "sacrifice" and would "cleanse" their sins.
He said: "At the same time, the Church realises that if someone, guided by a sense of duty, by the need to be loyal to the oath, remains true to his calling and goes to fulfil what their duty calls, and if that person dies while fulfilling this duty, he is undoubtedly accomplishes an act that equals a sacrifice.
"He sacrifices himself for the others.
"That is why we believe that this sacrifice cleanses all the sins that a person has committed."
Patriarch Kirill also said in his sermon on Sunday that he prayed for the fighting to end.
Last week Russia began its first military mobilisation since World War Two to enlist citizens to fight in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin announced plans to mobilise 300,000 reserves to fight in the war in Ukraine, prioritising those with combat experience. He signed a new decree on Saturday that soldiers who surrender, desert, or refuse to fight can face up to 10 years in prison.