PATRIARCH KIRILL URGES BARTHOLOMEW TO ABANDON LEGALIZATION OF SCHISM IN UKRAINE
Interfax-Religiia, 31 December 2018
Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill sent a letter to Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew in which he calls him to renounce, while it is still not too late, the completion of the creation of "autocephaly" in Ukraine.
"Withdraw now from communion with schismatics, renounce participation in the political adventure of their legalization. And then the genuine Orthodox Church of Ukraine, led by His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine Onufrey, will bless you, and history will preserve your memory among those holy prelates of the Constantinople see who succeeded, in the most difficult of political circumstances, in not damaging the dignity of the church and in preserving its unity," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church (RPTs) writes, as quoted on its official website.
Patriarch Kirill's letter was a response to a letter by Patriarch Bartholomew in which the latter gave notice of his intention in the near future to grant to the newly formed church community of Ukraine the status of an autocephalous local church. The head of the RPTs acknowledges that he read this letter "with profound pain, bewilderment, and disgust."
"The reunification of the schismatics with the church would be a great joy both for the Orthodox believers of Ukraine and also for the entire Orthodox world, if it occurred in accordance with the requirements of canon law and in the spirit of the peace and love of Christ. But the current politicized process of enforced unification is far from the standards and spirit of the holy canons. It is accompanied by a monstrous heap of falsehood and now already by violence against the genuine Ukrainian Orthodox Church," Patriarch Kirill notes.
He calls Patriarch Bartholomew's attention to the fact that he was deceived when he was assured that dozens of canonical bishops want to leave the UPTs quickly and that what Constantinople calls a "local council" was "an assembly of schismatics under the shelter of the name of the holy church of Constantinople."
"What is this if not the legalization of the Ukrainian schism, which you publicly promised not to permit?" the primate of the Russian church addressed Patriarch Bartholomew with such words.
He noted that already now clergymen in Ukraine are being summoned, under false pretenses, to interrogations, are being blackmailed, their loved ones are being threatened, churches and residences are being searched, and pressure is being put on families and children. A few days ago a law took effect whose purpose is to deprive the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of its name so that under the guise of a "voluntary transfer of parishes" violent seizures of its church buildings are being conducted, Patriarch Kirill writes.
In conclusion he warns that if Patriarch Bartholomew acts in accordance with his intentions stated in his letter, then he will lose for always the possibility of serving church unity and will cease being primary in the Orthodox world that numbers hundreds of millions of believers.
"It is still not too late to stop," Patriarch
Kirill writes. (tr. by PDS, posted 1 January 2019)
English translation of the entire letter is available from the Moscow patriarchate here.
TOMOS FOR UKRAINE: KIRILL THREATENS BARTHOLOMEW WITH "LAST JUDGMENT"
Obozvrevatel, 31 December 2018
The head of the RPTs, Kirill, wrote a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew with a demand to abandon granting a tomos to Ukraine.
The corresponding document was published on the Telegram channel "Tserkvach," where it is indicated that the five-page letter was "emotional."
In particular, the head of the RPTs once again called the Orthodox Church of Ukraine a "reunification of schismatics," and also declared that he was outraged by Bartholomew's sympathy for it.
"The reunification of schismatics with the church would be a great joy for Orthodox believers of Ukraine, just as for all the Orthodox world, if it occurred in accordance with the prescriptions of canon law. . . . But the current politicized process it far from the standards and spirit of the holy canons. It is accompanied by a monstrous heap of falsehood and now also by violence against the genuine Ukrainian Orthodox Church," Kirill wrote.
He stated that he warned Bartholomew that he supposedly had been "deceived." And he had told him this both face to face and in the presence of witnesses.
"Now, when these plans have been achieved to a substantial extent, perhaps I will appeal to you for the last time before the entire Orthodox church. . . . Step back now from communion with 'schismatics,' and renounce participation in the political adventure of their legalization," the head of the RPTs declared.
"What you call a local council was an assembly of schismatics under the shelter of the name of the holy church of Constantinople," the letter says.
Otherwise Patriarch Kirill threatens the head of the church of Constantinople with the "Last Judgment."
"If you act in accordance with your intentions, laid out in your letter, then you will lose for always the possibility of serving the unity of the holy church of God and cease to be primary in the Orthodox world, and the suffering you have caused of the Orthodox Ukrainians will pursue you to the Last Judgment of our impartial Lord and will testify against you before him. It is still not too late to stop," Kirill wrote. (tr. by PDS, posted 1 January 2019)
Editorial disclaimer: RRN does
not intend to certify the accuracy of information
presented in articles. RRN simply intends to certify the
accuracy of the English translation of the contents of the
articles as they appeared in news media of countries of
the former USSR.
If material is quoted, please give credit to the publication from which it came. It is not necessary to credit this Web page. If material is transmitted electronically, please include reference to the URL, http://www.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/.