Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia criticized hegumens and abbesses for seeking luxury and comfort.
"I initiated that each father superior and each mother superior has a bishop's staff (a symbol of spiritual power - IF).
But I could not even imagine that hegumens and abbesses will turn these
staffs in patriarchal ones, will richly decorate them, will put a cross
on them. I did not bless such staffs. You should have an ordinary
hegumen staff, without decorations, without jewelry trinkets," the
patriarch said on Thursday at his meeting with heads of monasteries of
the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow.
"When you come home, the first thing you should do is to order ordinary
staffs similar to the one that was in Holy Metropolitan Peter's hands,"
According to the primate, fathers superior and mothers superior should
think more about ascetic life, not about comfortable conditions.
"I do not think that the way of life of hegumens and abbesses of the old
times who organized monasteries radically differed from lifestyle of
ordinary monks and nuns. Everyone should clearly understand it. If there
is no such understanding, you should better not become a mother
superior or father superior," he said.