Ukrainian priests file lawsuit against their own patriarch from Moscow


Eastern Europe


Archpriest Andriy Pinchuk helping Ukrainian refugees. Photo Facebook, Pinchuk Andriy

More than 400 priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the Moscow Patriarchate have signed a petition that calls for a church tribunal against their own Patriarch Kirill. According to the priests, the Moscow patriarch is guilty of supporting the war in Ukraine and spreading militaristic ideas.

The UOC has tried to distance itself from the Moscow Patriarchate on May 27th. For that reason, the statutes have been changed. But Kirill is still the patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The UOC would have to find another patriarchate first before leaving Moscow.

The initiator of the petition is Archpriest Andriy Pinchuk from the Dnipropetrovsk region, Dniprograd reports.

In a video, Pinchuk says that the Ukrainian clergy are shocked by the actions of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. “His doctrine of the “Russian World” is a copy of the doctrine of ethnophelitism, condemned by the church in the 19th century”, he argues, calling the doctrine a “recognised lie”. If the ecclesiastical court, the Council of Primates, considers the words of the Russian Patriarch to be a heresy, it could implement sanctions against Kirill, Pinchuk says. “He can be thrown from the Patriarchal throne. And other supporters of the Russian world will receive their share of sanctions.”

It is not the first time that Archpriest Andriy Pinchuk has called for sanctions against Patriarch Kirill. In April, he also appealed to the Council of Primates to come into action against Kirill. Pinchuk did so in a Facebook post.

Congregations leave Moscow Patriarchate on a daily basis

Almost every day, congregations from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate switch to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Metropolitan Epiphanius said. That is reported by Ukrinform. Epiphanius is the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine which belongs to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. From 2019 onwards, Epiphanius has been in a fight about the legitimacy which Orthodox church is the right one in Ukraine.

He said that Ukrainians are gradually uniting. “I am convinced that in time we are all in the only local autocephalous church. It is only a matter of time.”

More than 600 local parishes in Ukraine have left the Moscow Patriarchate since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, Epiphanius says.



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