27 December 2016, 13:23
Patriarch Kirill calls victims of Tu-154 crash symbols of national life and pride
Moscow, December 27, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia calls Tu-154 plane crash over the Black Sea a national tragedy.
"I would like to start our session with deepest condolences to relatives, friends, all our people in connection with the tragedy that took place over the Black Sea. The people who died can be considered symbols of our national life, our pride," the patriarch said before the session of the Holy Synod on Tuesday in Moscow.
He said that the Academic Alexandrov Ensemble of the Russian Army was not just an artistic musical collective.
"It was a personification of the country's Armed Forces, it was an expression of patriotism. Their work has always inspired people, mobilized people for good undertakings," the primate stressed.
He also recalled Yelizaveta Glinka, "a doctor, who worked hard to help children, especially those who suffered from the grave conflict in east Ukraine."
"We can say much almost about everyone who died. It is really a tragedy that deeply injured the hearts of absolute majority of our citizens. Ways of God are unknown, no one knows His will. It is impossible to apply human criteria to work of the divine providence. We are always mistaken. We will bring our narrow-mindness, our sickness to these assessments," the patriarch said.
According to him, through such events "God does not punish, does not hold His judgement, but for some reason let such things happen, and it is important for us to keep prayerful memory of those who died in our hearts."
A short requiem service was held afterwards.
The Defense Ministry's Tupolev Tu-154B-2 plane disappeared from the radars several minutes after taking off in Sochi on Sunday morning. According to the most recent information, the plane was carrying 92 people, including servicemen, journalists, the Alexandrov song and dance ensemble and Yelizaveta Glinka, the head of the foundation Fair Aid. They were en route to Syria.
The airliner crashed into the Black Sea near the coast of Sochi. A criminal case has been opened.