EXAMPLE OF RUSSIA NOT FOR US: P.Ts.U. PRIMATE DESCRIBES FOR STUDENTS RELATIONS BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE
RISU, 4 September 2019
The church should be a partner for the state and be its spiritual foundation. This opinion was expressed by the primate of the PTsU [Orthodox Church of Ukraine] during conversation with students of the Kiev Mohyla Academy.
"If our people had understood this truth back in 1991 and if there had not been a division in Ukrainian Orthodoxy, then it would have been possible to avoid many problems and disorders that we have today. At the same time, the principle of coexistence of the state and the church in the Russian Federation, which we now see, is unacceptable for Ukraine since the church should not be a 'state department for religious affairs,'" the first hierarch declared.
He said that the PTsU is trying to build a state along with the authorities on a partnership basis.
"We in the Orthodox Church of Ukraine want to develop our country together, on a partnership basis. The state also should facilitate and help the church, because we serve the interests of our people together. I believe that it will be thus in the future: the church will fulfill the mission laid upon it and it will be a reliable support for the Ukrainian state," he noted.
The PTsU primate also explained for students of the academy how important the role of the church is in society.
"In the future, we still have many challenges and obstacles that we must overcome together with you. After all, next door is a powerful enemy who is trying to enslave us, and it understands very well the role of the church in society. Speaking of which, when Putin was asked what is the security of the Russian Federation, he replied that it is the nuclear shield and the church. From these words we can understand what role the UPTsMP is playing in Ukraine. It is the final outpost of Russia and therefore in the future we will do everything possible so that in Ukraine its own local Orthodox church is established and built," Metropolitan Epifany emphasized. (tr. by PDS, posted 4 September 2019)
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