A week after his historic meeting with Pope Francis, Patriarch Kirill has had another unusual encounter: he has been visiting penguins in the Antarctic.
The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church was filmed this morning walking among penguins on a visit to Holy Trinity church, the Antarctic’s only permanent place of worship.
In the video, available on the RT website, Patriarch Kirill is seen meeting the penguins, accompanied by scientists from the Belligshausen research station, to which Holy Trinity is attached.
The Patriarch praised the Antarctic as a model of human society.
“The Antarctic is the only place on Earth where there are no weapons, no wars, no development of mass destruction weapons,” he said in a meeting with polar researchers.
“It is a kind of a model of an ideal humankind and an example that people can live that way – with no borders, no weapons, no hostile competition, that people can cooperate and feel like a family.”
The Patriarch described the Antarctic as “a place of special spiritual and humanitarian significance for the entire world.”
He added: “When I blessed water in Antarctica today I was thinking about the entire planet below and prayed for God’s creation.”
In last week’s joint statement, Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill deplored global violence and lamented that “The unrelenting consumerism of some more developed countries is gradually depleting the resources of our planet.”