Ukrainian Orthodox break with Moscow, condemn war
May 27, 2022
CWN Editor's Note: The leaders of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who had been allied with the Patriarchate of Moscow have condemned the war on Ukraine, repudiated the support of Moscow’s Patriarch Kirill, and stated their desire for independence from the Russian Orthodox Church.
After weeks of tension, heightened the Russian Orthodox Church’s support for the war, the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church approved a measure to amend the body’s statutes, looking toward “full independence.” The statement stopped just short of calling for autocephaly—a move that has already been made by the rival Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
“The Council condemns war as a violation of God’s commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill,’” the group announced. “We disagree with the position of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on the war in Ukraine.”
The loss of the Ukrainian Orthodox parishes that have remained loyal to Moscow patriarchate would have an enormous effect on the Russian Orthodox Church. The Orthodox faith is vigorous in Ukraine, and the number of worshippers actually attending services there may approach—or even surpass—the number of active members of Russian parishes.
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