Patriarch Kirill Expresses Desire to Go into Space
Speaking with astronauts at the Russian manned space flight control center, Patriarch Kirill has expressed a desire to fly to space. To see the Earth from the window of a space ship is not just a child’s dream of the mentor of the Russian Orthodox Church, says priest Georgy Roshin.
Patriarch Kirill’s desire to fly into space is evidence of his support for astronauts in their difficult work in space and in the space flight control center. The patriarch expresses support for the government and all those connected with space flights in Russia.
Patriarch Kirill has a long-standing love of space and likes aviation. In his younger days, he completed 19 training flights on MiG planes and also performed advanced acrobatics. He made many parachute jumps.
The patriarch’s desire to explore space seems absurd to many critics; they recall that a few years back the terms the conquest of space and religion were almost antonyms, saying that the union of the Church and Space belongs to the realm of fantasy. Members of the Moscow Patriarchate counter by saying that the Orthodox Church is keeping a close eye on space exploration.
“The study of space is useful in that it enables humankind to learn new things about the physical world and how humankind can use the environment more judiciously. Plants are cultivated in space to find out how they will behave in different conditions; matters outside our planet are being studied. In a word, space exploration is helping to open our eyes to hitherto unknown phenomena,” priest Roshin says.
The Russian Orthodox Church blesses all the rockets and space ships before they fly to near orbit. Besides, there is a Bible, a cross, and an icon on the ISS. Perhaps, space flight by priests will be an added blessing.