Moscow, November 2, 2015
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has criticized those who went to Halloween parties on the day that a Russian airliner crashed killing hundreds of people.
"It is remarkable that today has been decreed by the president as a day of national mourning. But I was stunned by a report that certain nightclubs and other entertainment facilities celebrated Halloween, which is not ours and is hardly understandable for us, in the early hours of the morning," the patriarch said after celebrating the liturgy in Moscow on Sunday.
"Let us pray for God not to punish these people and for love and compassion to fill the hearts of our people, so that no desire to earn money should give people a moral exemption to cross a line which should not be crossed," he said.
The Church leader urged all to pray for "all this nastiness and loss of human feelings and sense of morality to be gone from us that our society and state can be strong enough to prevent such manifestations when people are not capable of restraining themselves. This is necessary for us all for the moral health of our people."
Experts said the Russian plane crash in Egypt is the biggest in Russian history, the patriarch said.
"Two hundred twenty-four people, mainly young and healthy, including children, happy one the way back from holiday, who were probably chatting merrily, recalling their holiday. Everything was cut tragically short. Many of us could have been on this plane," His Holiness said.
This tragedy should leave no one indifferent, which is why today prayers were read in Russian churches both for those killed and for those who particularly suffer today, i.e. their relatives and loved ones, the patriarch said.
"We saw their faces on television screens yesterday, and today it is important to feel compassion for these people. Without knowing their names, to ask God for help, because only He, the head of life and death, can give this help and with it hope for the future," Patriarch Kirill said.