The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church appeared to blame liberal Western values - drawing particular attention to gay pride parades – for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in his Sunday sermon.
President Vladimir Putin ordered the deadly “special operation” in Ukraine on February 24 to “demilitarize and denazify” the pro-Western country after recognizing the two breakaway territories in eastern Ukraine as independent republics.
But Patriarch Kirill said the war is about “which side of God humanity will be on” in the rift between supporters of gay pride events – or Western governments that allow them – and their opponents in the east of Ukraine supported by Russia.
“Pride parades are designed to demonstrate that sin is a variant of human behavior. That’s why to join the club of these countries you have to organize a gay pride parade,” he said in his Sunday sermon on forgiveness.
The Russian church leader called the gay pride parades a “test of loyalty” to Western governments, which Ukraine’s breakaway republics have “fundamentally rejected”.
“For eight years there have been attempts to destroy what exists in Donbass,” said Patriarch Kirill, referring to the region where Kiev has been at war with breakaway republics since 2014.
“And in the Donbass there is a rejection, a fundamental rejection of the so-called values that are proposed today by those who claim world power,” he said.
“We know that if people or countries reject these requests, they are not part of this world, they become strangers to it.”
Patriarch Kirill described the Russian invasion of Ukraine in more apocalyptic colors as a conflict “much bigger than politics”.
“If mankind accepts that sin is not a violation of God’s law, if mankind accepts that sin is a variation of human behavior, then human civilization will end there,” he said. he.
The Russian Orthodox Church has been accused of aligning itself with the officially secular Kremlin during Putin’s years in power.