Russian Orthodox leader repeats Moscow's rejection of Ukrainian church


Interfax-Religiia, 24 May 2021


The Russian Orthodox Church (RPTs) thinks that a new run of seizures of church buildings of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UPTs--Moscow patriarchate) is the result of the recent visit by American Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Kiev, where he met with the leader of the "new church" of Ukraine (PTsU), Epifany.


"Of course it is not a coincidence and of course the fact that the American secretary of state met with the leadership of the schism, but did not meet with any other religious leader , . . is evidence once again of the fact that the so-called PTsU (Orthodox Church of Ukraine) led by the so-called Metropolitan (actually false metropolitan) Epifany is a project of the U.S.A. It is a political project from start to finish," the head of the synod's Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Ilarion, said on the broadcast "Church and World" on the Rossiia-24 television channel.


This is how he responded to the host's question whether there was a link between Blinken's visit and a subsequent wave of seizures of buildings of the canonical UPTs.


The metropolitan explained that the PTsU was not born within the depths of church life but was created by the Americans in order "to once again embody the principle by which they are guided and on which they operate: divide and conquer."


"So this is a division that had already occurred on the political level and now it also occurred on the church level. And the man who accomplished this American plan was Patriarch Bartholomew. His dependence on America is also completely obvious and known to everybody, and it really is not concealed from anybody," the metropolitan said.


"The Orthodox Church of Ukraine was created by Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew in late 2018 with the support of the Ukrainian government of the time on the basis of two uncanonical organizations and despite the protests of the Russian church, that Ukraine is a canonical part of. For a long period of time the new church structure was not recognized by a single one of the local Orthodox churches, with the exception of Constantinople itself. Later individual Greek churches and primates have spoken in support of the PTsU." (tr. by PDS, posted 24 May 2021)

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