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Orthodox churches trade accusations as war continues in Ukraine

May 24, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) said that the formation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) helped provoke the Russian invasion—prompting strong criticism from the OCU’s13-member Synod.

The OCU, which was granted canonical recognition by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in 2019, was formed from the 2018 union of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate) and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, neither of which had received canonical recognition.

“One of the main creators, inspirers, and propagandists of this fascist ideology, now dominant in Russia, is the head of the Moscow Patriarchate; it was and remains the basis for the occupation of our land, murder of our citizens, and destruction of our cities and villages, as well as for attempts to destroy our statehood and very identity,” the OCU said in its response. “Yet these hierarchs cannot find courage in their public statements to condemn the ideology, or the actions of their Patriarch.”

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