Russian Orthodox leader Patriarch Kirill wore a mask during the first synod meeting of the year in Moscow’s Danilov Monastery on Tuesday, video posted on the Church’s YouTube channel showed.
The Open Media news website reported that this is the first time the Patriarch has been spotted wearing a mask in public.
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Patriarch Kirill earned a reputation for being a mask skeptic and the Church was lax in enforcing rules requiring them to be worn in places of worship.
The church began to take measures to counter the infection only after many clergy became ill with the virus.
The Russian Orthodox Church now identifies mask-wearing as a “Christian duty.”