25 February 2016, 11:59
Serbian Patriarch urges Poroshenko to stop the seizure of Orthodox shrines
Moscow, February 25, Interfax - Patriarch Irinej of Serbia on behalf of the Synod sent a letter to Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, expressing deep concern with oppressions of canonical Orthodoxy in Ukraine and threat of seizing shrines of all-Orthodox importance.
"Our Christian conscience is deeply concerned with the destruction of centuries-old unity of Orthodox Church in Ukraine and with support of this destruction that threatens the unity of the entire Ecumenical Orthodoxy, which is preparing the great Pan-Orthodox Council this year," Patriarch Irinej writes in his letter quoted by the UOC website.
Speaking about the attempts of schismatics to seize the Kiev Lavra of the Caves, the Pochayev Lavra and numerous Orthodox churches, the patriarch notes that "churches and shrines of one nation exist to reconcile people, to multiply love to God and neighbors, to preserve fraternal accord, not to divide or sow discord."
As was reported, the Ukrainian Culture Ministry recently transferred a church at the territory of St. Sophia cathedral complex to the self-proclaimed 'Kiev Patriarchate.'
Late in December Patriarch Irinej of Serbia sent a letter to Patriarch Kirill and Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev to condemn actions of radicals against the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
"Evil can dress itself up in the clothes of faith, light and truth but its fruits - falsehood, division and hate of the neighbour - will invariably expose it. Schismatics from the so-called 'Patriarchate of Kiev' have long been renounced by Orthodox Churches and refer to Orthodoxy only by name. And their disdain for the norms of Christian morality and readiness to hate, to lie and to spill blood is living proof of it," the head of the Serbian Church then said in his letter.
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