Russian Orthodox Church furious after World Council criticises Kirill


Eastern Europe


Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Karslruhe. Photo WCC/Gjermund Øystese

The Russian Orthodox Church has reacted strongly to German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's speech in Karlsruhe on Wednesday.

During the World Council of Churches assembly, Steinmeier accused the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of justifying Putin's war against Ukraine. According to him, Kirill is leading the Russian Orthodox Church down "a wrong, even anti-religious and blasphemous path of error."

Metropolitan Antony of Moscow, leader of the Russian Orthodox delegation in Karlsruhe, has reacted furiously to the accusations, reports Vatikannews.va, among others. In his view, Steinmeier "completely overlooked the humanitarian interference of the Moscow Patriarchate in the confrontation in Ukraine". Steinmeier's words would also be an example of "unadulterated pressure by a high-ranking government representative on the oldest intra-Christian organisation, of interference in the internal affairs of the World Council and of an attempt to call into question the peacemaking and politically neutral character of its work."

The Metropolitan expressed the hope that the World Council would remain an "independent platform for dialogue".



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