(Moscow, July 12, Interfax) – National Orthodox Churches have expressed concern for ‘the stained and unhealthy interconfessional situation’ that has developed in Ukraine for the last fifteen years.
‘The schism has paralyzed Ukrainian Orthodox in its primary task to service God and neighbours in the union of peace, accord and love… This schism has in fact divided Ukrainian society and led the religious milieu to extreme politization’, heads and representatives of national churches as well as bishops of the canonical Ukrainian Church stated in their message to the Ukrainian president, Supreme Rada speaker and the cabinet of ministers.
Orthodox hierarchs have come to Kiev for the celebrations to mark the 40s anniversary of the episcopal consecration of the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Vladimir.
Enmity on religious grounds, according to the authors of the appeal, has caused tension and instability in the society and weakened the state.
Note: Metropolitan Vladimir is head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s branch in Ukraine, which holds the majority of the properties, but only a minority of Ukrainians who identify themselves as Orthodox. The “Kievan Patriarchate” is not in communion with any official Orthodox body. NFTU