10 October 2018, 13:39
Politicians' attempts to separate Ukrainian church from Russia's to end in "total flop" - Patriarch Kirill (updated)
Moscow, October 10, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is certain that attempts by politicians to tear the Ukrainian and Russian Churches apart are doomed.
"Today when certain political forces are tormenting Ukraine, when they are trying to tear the Ukrainian Church off Russia's and destroy our unity, we know: all this will end in total flop," Patriarch Kirill said during festivities commemorating St. Sergius at the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius.
"All the forces of evil" are now working to separate the Ukrainian Church from the unified Russian Orthodox Church, which began in the Kiev baptistery, he said.
"We should all remember that the laws by which the Lord runs the Church are not human laws, and every time politicians invade the church, they are defeated," Patriarch Kirill said.
He referred to the post-revolutionary situation, which saw the Bolsheviks' provocation of the Renovationist schism in the Church, the arrest of Patriarch Tikhon, and the arrest and execution of many priests and bishops.
"The authorities decided that the Church was over and done with, that we were all dead, but we are alive, a new era has started, an era of church revival in accordance with the prayers of those who stayed faithful to Christ, even unto death, our new martyrs and confessors," the patriarch said.
As for the situation in Ukraine, where the authorities have inspired a project to create an autocephalous church independent of the Moscow Patriarchate, he said he trusts in the faith and godliness of the people of Ukraine.
"It's the general public who are now defending the unity of our Church. And I know that they are bravely defending this unity, as they are defending their churches, as they are resisting attempts at seizure, as they are fighting literally on the front line, and not just for the unity of our Church, but for the purity of the Orthodox faith," Patriarch Kirill said.
He believes that "we are now showing the world the firmness, the unity that our Russian Orthodox Church manifested after the horrible events of 1917," he said.
Patriarch Kirill said it is important not only "not to lose the purity of the Orthodox faith," but to prevent "the forced division" to which the Russian Church had to agree due to the "illegitimate actions" taken by Constantinople from becoming "division for centuries, as happened in the 11th century, when the claims made by the Roman bishop for ecumenical power led to the division of the unified church."
In closing, the patriarch said the Russian Orthodox Church will continue firmly following the canons, thus showing that it "is also capable of declaring God's truth with one mouth and one heart at difficult moments."