Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to celebrate divine liturgy in Antarctic

February 17, 2016
Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church (C), leads a mass at the Russian Orthodox church in Havana, February 14, 2016.  REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX26WTW

(Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church (C), leads a divine liturgy at the Russian Orthodox church in Havana, February 14, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini)

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has flown to the Antarctic to celebrate a divine liturgy at a scientific research station, a trip aides said was intended to show his church has global reach, Russian media reported on Wednesday.

Kirill flew to Russia’s Bellingshausen scientific station on the Island of Waterloo from Chile, where he had wrapped up his tour of several Latin American nations, RIA news agency quoted his spokesman Alexander Volkov as saying.

“This is an historic event in the life of Russian Orthodoxy, a proof that the Russian Orthodox Church exercises its office on all continents. There the Patriarch will pray for the entire world,” he said.

The service, to be attended by Russian and foreign polar explorers, will be held at the Holy Trinity chapel, the only Orthodox place of worship in the Antarctic, Volkov said.

Last week Kirill held an historic meeting with Roman Catholic Pope Francis in Cuba, bringing together the two churches nearly 1,000 years after the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity split apart.

The pope and the patriarch issued a global appeal for the protection of Christians under assault in the Middle East.

Source: Russian Orthodox Patriarch to say mass in Antarctic | Reuters

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