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Patriarch Kirill ‘Understands’ Ukraine Church Schism

kirill understandPatriarch Kirill said Sunday that the Russian Orthodox Church "understands" a decision by its branch in Ukraine to cut ties amid Moscow's offensive in the pro-Western country.

"We fully understand how the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is suffering today," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in central Moscow.

"We understand that His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy and the episcopate should act as wisely as possible today so as not to complicate the lives of their believers," Patriarch Kirill said in his first comments since the announcement.

He added that the "spirits of malice" wanted to divide the Orthodox people of Russia and Ukraine but they would not succeed.

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