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Ukrainian Orthodox leader blasts Moscow patriarch, defends Eastern Catholics

Catholic World News - September 02, 2014

The head of one of the three rival Ukrainian Orthodox bodies has come to the defense of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which has been the object of strong criticism by leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“For the first time since the reign of Nazi Fuhrer Hitler we are faced with the massive propaganda against Ukraine which is extraordinary in its cynicism and falsehood,” said Patriarch Filaret, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate. “Russia is trying to convince the world in righteousness of its actions.”

“The letter by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, in which he interprets the events in the Donbas [eastern Ukraine] as civil war and religious conflict, should be regarded namely as part and fruit of this propaganda,” added the patriarch. “In fact, the events in Donbas are the result of armed aggression against Ukraine.”

“The statement by Patriarch Kirill that armed ‘uniates and schismatics’ were fighting in the Donbas against Moscow patriarchate is also a blatant and cynical lie,” added Patriarch Filaret, according to the Religious Information Service of Ukraine.

Patriarch Filaret once headed the Ukrainian Orthodox Church affiliated with the Moscow patriarchate. But after Ukraine won its independence, then-Metropolitan Filaret broke with Moscow to establish a separate patriarchate. The rival Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Moscow patriarchate remains in full communion with the Russian Orthodox Church.

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  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Sep. 02, 2014 11:31 PM ET USA

    This man is a gentleman, a righteous man and a truthful man! The "religious war" in Ukraine IS NOT between Orthodox and Catholics, with Catholics trying to squelch Orthodox, but between the Russian Orthodox Church, whose Patriarch in Putin's right hand man in vestments, and Ukrainians, who desire a free country of their own. He who hears the truth hears the Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholic Churches. He who hears the other side does not hear the truth. The Bible tells us who their Father is.

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