Address of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia for International Day for Protection of Children

  Moscow May 29, 2016


    

“Most Reverend archpastors, honorable presbyters and
deacons, dear brothers and sisters in Christ!

June 1 will mark the International Day for the Protection
of Children, which is annually held by the initiative of
the United Nations. This commemorative day is meant to
remind us of the huge responsibility to the coming
generation, entrusted to us by the Creator.

It is no accident that Holy Scripture calls children a
heritage from the Lord and a reward from him (Ps. 126:3),
pointing out that thanks to this greatest Divine gift man
has the unique opportunity to feel his participation in
the generation of new life. However, speaking of the
protection of children,” noted the Patriarch,
“people often forget that caring for the welfare of
a child is a theme not for abstract philosophical
discussions and reflection, but one of the most pressing
questions of our times. Firstly in connection with this
problem of abortion I am especially concerned about this
as the Patriarch, as the Primate of the Church.

Even dry quotes of the official statistics make us
inwardly shudder with horror: in 2015 alone in our country
there were 764,000 medical terminations of pregnancy.
It’s difficult to even imagine the true magnitude of
this tragedy. Abortion has become truly a national
disaster, yearly claiming the lives of more than a million
of our fellow countrymen.

I am convinced that one of our most important steps for
overcoming this problem is timely and comprehensive help
for women finding themselves in a crisis situation. The
Church is taking the most active and dynamic role in
resolving this question, organizing special shelters and
humanitarian centers to which pregnant women and those
already with children can turn, including for financial
support. Even a little help can convince a woman to refuse
an abortion or the decision to leave her child in the
maternity ward.

To help women finding themselves in difficult
circumstances, and to open new social centers, on this day
of the Resurrection I call upon you to respond to my
entreaty and offer what you can for this blessed
Church-wide endeavor. The collected offerings will be sent
to the account of the Synodal Department for Church
Charity and Social Services, which will take up the
responsibility for distributing the funds and organizing
centers for humanitarian aid.

May God’s blessing be with all of you.”

+ KIRILL, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

* * *

There are currently twenty-nine Church shelters for
women in difficult situations in Russia, from Kaliningrad
to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Most of them were created in
recent years: five years ago there was only one such
Church shelter in Russia.

There are also more than sixty active Church
humanitarian centers in Russia, in which those in need can
receive free food, hygiene products, strollers,
children’s beds, etc. Thanks to a new collection,
new humanitarian aid centers are planned to be opened in
those regions where there is as yet no such Church
institution.

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