24 August 2018, 13:06
Moscow Patriarchate views Poroshenko's call to end 'Russian church' in Ukraine as attempt to cling to power
Moscow, August 24, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate perceives Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko's statement about putting an end to "the Russian church" in Ukraine as a desperate attempt to retain power.
"The unified metropolitanate, and then independent, autocephalous Church of All-Russia has united all the nations that maintain their lineage from St. Vladimir's baptismal font in the Dnieper River for 1,030 years. Over this time, many world rulers, sometimes fighting against each other and sometimes united and sometimes hatching a wide variety of political projects, have changed, borders have moved, and relations with neighbors have been rough. [...] But the unified Church has remained, remains, and will remain. It is for the ages," the deputy head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, told Interfax-Religion.
"And it is odd to it to hear an arrogant politician who isn't supported by even one-tenth of the nation trying to invent for it, the Church, a new structure, its own new unheard-of 'canons,' and telling it what it is natural for it and what isn't, in a desperate attempt to cling to power as it slips away," he said.
The Ukrainian president earlier said that it is necessary to put an end to the existence of the church that he says "blesses" Russia's "hybrid war" against Ukraine in the country.
"Let Constantinople, Moscow, and the Vatican hear us today - we are firmly committed to cut the final knot by which the empire is desperately trying to tie us to itself. We are determined to end the unnatural and non-canonical dependency of the majority of our Orthodox community on the Russian church," Poroshenko said at a military parade on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of Ukraine's independence in Kiev on Friday.
The Ukrainian president's words will get no support from those to whom they are addressed, the priest said. "Apparently the author of this unfortunate remark still realizes that it will hardly be received with understanding outside the narrow circle of his personal entourage, so he had to appeal to Constantinople, Moscow, and even the Vatican for some reason against the background of the military parade. Maybe it would sound louder and more convincing then? 'Let them hear!'" he said.
"And another thing about the Vatican: did he mention it only due through an out-of-place slip of the tongue? Or maybe they [the Ukrainian authorities] want to hint to somebody else that they have an alternative in case there's a delay?" the priest said.