Ukrainian priests demand church tribunal for Patriarch Kirill


Eastern Europe


Russian President Vladimir Putin (r.) and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia (l.). Photo EPA, Alexey Nikolsky

Priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate demand an ecclesiastical tribunal against their own leader, Patriarch Kirill, for supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Archpriest Andriy Pinchuk published a statement on Facebook with the request to the Council of Primates of the Ancient Eastern Churches. The Council of Primates is the body called in when serious problems arise in the Orthodox Church.

"Today, when Moscow Patriarch Kirill openly supports Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, we, the priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, decided to appeal to the Council of Primates of the Ancient Eastern Churches against Patriarch Kirill", the statement reads.

According to the Priests, Patriarch Kirill preaches "Russian peace" doctrine, which should be condemned as heresy.

Furthermore, the priests accuse Kirill of committing moral crimes. They refer to the killing of civilians and other "clear signs of genocide." "We see the brutal actions of the Russian army against the Ukrainian people, which Patriarch Kirill embraces." According to the priests, it has become impossible to serve the Patriarch with a clear conscience.

As of Monday afternoon, 268 priests signed the petition.

Kirill: Unite around authorities

Patriarch Kirill argues that believers should unite around their authorities and countries in difficult times. RIA Novosti reports that the Patriarch said so after a Sunday service in Moscow. "May the Lord help us in this difficult time for our Fatherland to unite everyone, including around the authorities, and the authorities to be filled with responsibility for their people, humility and readiness to serve them", Kirill said.

Russians more religious since the start of invasion

The demand for religion in Russia has increased since the so-called special operation in Ukraine, says Metropolitan Hilarion. He is the head of the Synodal Department for External Church relations, Interfax writes. Hilarion: "I felt that the demand for religion, spirituality, and answers to some vital questions has increased significantly." The Metropolitan explains that people have a lot to think about and worry about. "Then they turn to what is unshakable, to what is eternal, to God", he said according to Interfax.



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