21 November 2016, 13:59
Moscow Patriarchate will never allow independence of Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Patriarch Kirill
Moscow, November 21, Interfax - Attempts to separate the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Moscow patriarchate will fail, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.
"Our Church will never leave its brothers in Ukraine in trouble and will never disown them. We will never agree to a change of the holy canonical borders of our Church because Kiev is the spiritual cradle of Holy Russia, like Mtskheta for Georgia or Kosovo for Serbia," the patriarch said on Monday at the celebration of his 70th anniversary in the cathedral of Christ the Savior.
The patriarch said attempts are now being made to involve the Ukrainian Church "in a deep conflict separating society and make it a pawn of this conflict."
"Forcible takeovers of churches are occurring, court decisions are being ignored, there is an information campaign against the Church, the Ukrainian parliament is proposing bills whose purpose is to discriminate and put into difficult conditions the largest religious community of the country," he said.
The patriarch said that, as a rule, discriminatory bills against the canonical Church in Ukraine are proposed by those deputies who support the division or are Greek Catholics or atheists.
"The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church continues aggressive and insulting attacks on our Church in general, and also on canonical Orthodox faith in Ukraine," the patriarch said.
There are three Orthodox religious organizations in Ukraine: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and two organizations that are not recognized in the orthodox world: the Kyiv patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Since the beginning of the military action in Ukraine, church schismatics have taken over dozens of churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, including with support from the local authorities.
Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko earlier repeatedly called for the creation in the country of a local Orthodox Church. One of the purposes of the initiative is to separate the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Moscow Patriarchate.
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