21 December 2018, 12:32
Constantinople Patriarchate is accomplice to persecution of Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Patriarch Kirill (updated)
Moscow, December 21, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia says that the Constantinople Patriarchate is partly to blame for today's persecution of followers of Ukraine's canonical Church.
In his report presented at a meeting of the Moscow Diocese on Friday, Patriarch Kirill summed up the results of 2018, focusing on the situation in Ukraine's church life, where, he said, pressure has been heightened on the clergy and believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, "who do not want to participate in anti-canonical initiatives of political schemers and schismatics."
"The state's highest-ranking officers have started to say ever more often in public that followers of the canonical church are aliens, who have no place in their own country. But it is millions of Ukrainian citizens! The Constantinople Synod and its patriarch have effectively taken the side of the persecutors," Patriarch Kirill said.
The primate of Russian Orthodox Church said that it "deeply pains" him to talk about this situation because it concerns the authorities of the Church that "was our Mother Church" and people with whom the patriarch "has met so many times, prayed, and looked for a common understanding of what serves unity."
Patriarch Kirill also said the Russian Orthodox Church had no other choice but to break off relations with the Constantinople Patriarchate after it declared Ukraine its canonical territory and entered into communion with uncanonical church structures there.
"Communion reflects the unity of a community that gathers around the throne and the chalice. But if there is no unity, what does the sacrament of church unity - communion - turn into then? If there is no unity, how is it possible to serve together? Such profanation must not be allowed," Patriarch Kirill said.
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