Moscow Patriarch Kirill and Vladimir Putin
Leaders of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) say that Moscow Patriarch Kirill should urge Putin to stop the open aggression against Ukraine instead of accusing Ukrainians of godlessness, reports Ukrinform, Sunday May 24.
Commenting on the statement made by Kirill that “godlessness is becoming the state ideology of Ukraine,” UOC-KP spokesman Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zoria) stated that similar statements by Patriarch Kirill are “part of the Kremlin’s propaganda against Ukraine.”
“This is very strange to hear, especially since the leadership of his own state is engaged in open lies and blatant, deliberate aggression. Why doesn’t he call on the (Russian) leadership to stop actions that are obviously un-Christian? Why doesn’t he urge his own president to do this? His own president is exhibiting significantly more signs of a godless person through his actions than do the leaders of Ukraine,” Archbishop Yevstratiy said.
Furthermore, he added that Kirill’s statements prove that the Moscow church is a tool of the Kremlin:
“In my view, this is one more confirmation that the Russian Orthodox Church is one of the political tools of the Kremlin in the person of its leader. Of course the church is the church and there are believers there as well who are following the path of salvation. However, in its leadership and senior leadership it is a tool of the Kremlin precisely because (Kirill’s) statements are part of Kremlin’s propaganda against Ukraine,” he said.
Nonetheless, Yevstratiy said he was grateful for prayers and said he is confident that God sees everything and knows who is an atheist.
“But if they sincerely pray to God then of course God knows better who is an unbeliever, who is a believer, whom to convert, whom to bless, and whom to punish. And that is why in any case we are grateful for their prayers,” he said.
According to media reports, on May 24, during the Sunday service at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, Patriarch Kirill announced that godlessness is becoming the state ideology of Ukraine. According to his words, the (Russian) Orthodox Church prays every day for “the militant godlessness to recede and no longer manifest itself through the (Ukrainian) state government.”
Earlier, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) through the mouth of its leader, the Metropolitan Onufriy, stated that it opposes the war in the east of Ukraine. That was the reason Onufriy gave when asked why he refused to stand to honor the fallen heroes of Ukraine killed during the ATO operations when their names were called during a special session of the Verkhovna Rada. Throughout the entire period of the occupation of Crimea and the military operations in the Donbas, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Moscow Patriarchate has never condemned the actions of the aggressor country.