Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill (Vladimir Gundyaev) slipped and fell during a service at the Church of the Holy Prince Peter and Princess Fevronia in Novorossiysk, Russia, Russian news outlet The Insider reported on June 25.
The recording of the service has already been deleted from the Russian TV channel Soyuz, reports The Insider.
Russian Archdeacon Andrei Kuraev said that due to coronavirus restrictions, the patriarch did not allow himself to be touched, so he was not helped up by security guards, the protocol service, nor the bishops standing nearby.
"After the consecration of the church at the east of the cathedral, Patriarch Kirill fell, slipping on the expensive marble floor,” Kuraev said.
“The patriarch slammed his back against the edge of the chair. The liturgy continued. Coronavirus restrictions are to blame, due to which the patriarch does not allow himself to be touched and supported on the stairs.”
After the start of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, Patriarch Kirill effectively supported Russia's aggression and blessed the Russian military for killing Ukrainians. In April, Kirill delivered a speech at the Russian Armed Forces Church, praising Russian soldiers and questioning Ukraine's independence.
In response, hundreds of Ukrainian Orthodox Church — Moscow Patriarchate priests demanded that Kirill be brought before a church tribunal because of his position on the war in Ukraine. In April, the clergy collected more than 400 signatures under the petition.
On May 27, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate declared their “full independence” from the Moscow church.
On June 16, the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on the head of the ROC, Patriarch Kirill, for actively supporting Russia's war against Ukraine.