Russian president comments on Ukrainian church situation


He mistakenly called UPTsMP the "Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine"

Credo.Press, 20 December 2018


Russian President Vladimir Putin called the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PTsU), which was proclaimed at a council in Kiev on 15 December, "schismatic," and he called its creation the direct interference of the state in church life. "What is now happening in Orthodoxy is simply incomprehensible, as our people say. This is the direct interference of the state in church and religious life. There never was such a thing in the times of the Soviet Union," Putin said on 20 December at a large press conference in Moscow.


He said that in Ukraine now "they have created this united schismatic church of an Istanbul parish." "They do not like a Moscow parish; there will be an Istanbul parish," Interfax quotes Putin.


He emphasized that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, which Putin originally called the "Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine," was "completely independent."


The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada at the very same time on 20 December was considering a draft law, one of the consequences of which may be the renaming of the legal entity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate as the "Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine."


"Perhaps few know about this, but it was actually a completely independent church. They did everything independently, including electing bishops. The only link was spiritual; they mentioned the name of the patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus in sermons. But now, look, what kind of dependence is coming from the Turkish patriarchate," Putin emphasized. (tr. by PDS, posted 20 December 2018)

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