Patriarch Kirill Affirms Value of Truth

Sends Message for Orthodox Christmas

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MOSCOW, Russia, JAN. 7, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia affirmed the fundamental value of truth in his message for Christmas.

Following the Julian calendar, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on Jan. 7.

"The life of a person who has gone astray may outwardly seem to be a successful one," Patriarch Kirill acknowledged, "yet this does not mean that error is without consequence: sooner or later it will manifest itself, including in the tragedy of human destinies."

Divine truths, the patriarch stated, "today have ceased to be ideals."

He continued: "It is the substitution of true values by false values that largely explains the ever-growing significance of the so called 'human factor' in tragic events that take away hundreds of lives.

"It is this that explains the crises which have had a global impact on the economy, politics, the environment, family life, the generation gap, and many other things."

Patriarch Kirill affirmed that "Divine truth ought to be the main compass for all human activity, for growth and movement forward."

Joy and peace

After praying the midday Angelus on Wednesday, the Pope addressed greetings to the "brothers and sisters of the Eastern Churches who tomorrow celebrate Holy Christmas."

"May the mystery of light be a source of joy and peace for every family and community," he said.

Patriarch Kirill, had sent a greeting to the Pontiff Dec. 25 for the "great feast of the Nativity of Christ and New Year."

The statement, published on the Moscow Patriarchate Web site, continued, "Under conditions of modern civilization, when many people lose spiritual and moral compass, the Star of Bethlehem is still showing the way to the Lord to all who seek light of the Divine Truth."

The patriarch celebrated the Christmas Vigil liturgy Wednesday evening, which was attended by the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, and his wife, as well as some 6,000 faithful.

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