Moscow (AsiaNews) - The representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) said they were "concerned" about the demands made by the head of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Kiev (UOC-KP), Filaret, to continue the war in Donbass .
The UOC-MP press agency Ria Novosti, reports that Filaret - at the head of one of the three Orthodox communities present in Ukraine, but not canonically recognized - has made an appeal to President Petro Poroshenko, to continue the war with separatists in the East, in order to "defend the homeland" which is the "duty of every Christian."
The leader of the UOC-KP was among participants, February 17, at the meeting of the Ukrainian Council of Churches with Poroshenko, the first since the chocolate oligarch was elected head of state in May.
"Even in the most difficult situations Christian priests must always try to separate the parties in conflict, defending even criminals, to stop all bloodshed - denounced the UOC-MP spokesman, Vasili Ansimov."Both the Pope and the Orthodox world have appealed for peace: the Russian Orthodox Church, the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, Onoufy; Filaret is the only one in favor of the war", added the spokesman.
According to the Presidents press service, Poroshenko thanked all the clergy gathered in the meeting for "the support given to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine"; and assured them that, all religious communities in the country are considered equal and deserve to be defended.
He did not, however, responded to the report submitted by the Executive Secretary of the UOC-MP - Metropolitan Anton of Boryspil and Brovaey - denouncing the forcible confiscation of 20 parishes of the Orthodox Church loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate and the false reports published in Ukranian media regarding the activities of the UOC-MP.
"One has the impression that it is a well-organized war of information against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church," attacked the Metropolitan.
In an interview with the American program 'Free Voice', Filaret rejected the charges against him: "Moscow has taken control of the Ukrainian Church, because through it, can influence society. The Moscow Patriarchate's influence in the Crimea and Donbass is very great and it is its fault, if the bloodbath continues there. Their priests have taken up weapons, defending the separatists and terrorists".
The Extraordinary Synod for the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the Moscow Patriarchate, called for a return to communion with the Kiev Patriarchate. Filaret's response, very positive, asks for forgiveness and offers forgiveness. For years there have been prevarications, expressions of hatred, seizures of churches. The invasion of Crimea has sharpened the division. The Ukrainian government rallies against.
New tensions between Ukrainian and pro-Russian nationalists, among the faithful of the Kiev Autonomous Patriarchate and Orthodox of obedience to the Moscow Patriarchate. The spark: the refusal of an Orthodox church in Moscow to officiate the funeral of a child who died in an accident, because he was baptized "a heretic" in the Church of Kiev. Monks of the two Churches blocked at the Kiev caves. Mutual violence towards sacred buildings.
He was a great witness to the Catholic faith and passionate in seeking unity among all Christians. Exile in the monastery of Grottaferrata. Friendship with Cardinal Josif Slipyj. He handled the return of the faithful to the Greek-Catholic Church after the fall of the USSR and healed the wounds of persecution. The telegram of Pope Francis to Archbishop Shevchuk, Successor to Husar.
The expert on religious and social issues lists the successes and failures of 2017. On the positive side there is Putin's visit to the Orthodox Synod, the dialogue between Kirill and Filaret of Kyiv, and the return of properties to the Catholic Church in Moscow. On the negative are the anti-Jehovah's Witnesses campaign, the Jewish “fault” in Tsar Nicholas II’s murder, and the forgetfulness towards the Protestant Churches. For Kirill, reforming the Moscow Patriarchate entails the same problems Pope Francis faces.