Patriarch Kirill: genuine patriotism of the UOC lies in its peacemaking endeavor

It was addressed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on November 29 in Moscow-based Temple of Christ the Savior in
his report to the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“The courageous, balanced position of the UOC hierarchy, which does not allow to involve the Church in the conflict on any of its sides, brings its good fruits. The Church’s efforts to free the captives are paying off, and humanitarian aid to the peaceful inhabitants of the Donbas, who have suffered from the hostilities, is being provided in considerable amounts. In the peacekeeping feat of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Her love for Ukraine, Her true patriotism is manifested,” Patriarch Kirill emphasized.

“His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry, the episcopate, the clergy and all the faithful children of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church really need special prayers,” said His Holiness. “Events of recent years confirm that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church remains the only force capable of uniting the Ukrainian society.”

According to His Holiness, despite all of the above said, pressure is stepping up on the UOC from non-canonical religious groups, radical political forces and public organizations of Ukraine. “An information campaign against the Church is being conducted. As before, the raider seizures of temples with the expulsion of believers are being carried on; judicial decisions in favor of the affected communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are not adopted, the authorities often support assaulters,” the head of the Russian Orthodox Church continued.

Patriarch Kirill noted that the fact that the UOC keeps a large flock in all regions of Ukraine, “proves that it is truly the Church of its people, its country.” The unprecedented All-Ukrainian Cross Procession in July 2016, which united hundreds of thousands of believers throughout Ukraine, and the thousands-strong procession in Kiev on July 27, 2017 became the evidence of solidarity.

“Any attempt to undermine the unity of the canonical Church in Ukraine by political methods is doomed to failure as long as its believers remain within their Church and are always determined to show their love and support for it. And we, the fullness of the Russian Church, add our ardent prayers for strengthening our Orthodox brethren in Ukraine in their feat of faith and piety, multiplying love and eradicating hostility, bringing peace and prosperity back to the plagued Ukrainian land,” concluded the Primate.

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