Fruit of an evil tree

Every day we take a decision about how to act in this or that situation. In this case, the criteria for our choice are almost always such factors as morality, viability, usefulness, efficiency, and so on.

This approach is an invariable attribute of our daily life. We address various everyday issues very quickly and confidently, we find opportunities to realize our desires and plans, and also form an agenda for the near future.

But what should we do when we are faced with more global issues and processes beyond our usual "small world"? How can we objectively and correctly evaluate them? This is a very important aspect, because the quality of life of the whole society depends on support or rejection of certain ideologies, concepts and initiatives by an individual.

A clear answer to these questions can be found in the Gospel of Matthew: "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit." So it follows, in particular, that no social idea or goal can be recognized as true, useful and necessary if methods of achieving it are built on hatred, violence, lie and oppression of others.

In this context, we can also recall the very eloquent words of Archbishop Varlaam (Ryashentsev): "What gives life to man – physical, and especially spiritual – certainly exists, and that, undoubtedly, is the truth. On the contrary, what harms the man and especially torments him and even deprives of life – spiritual or physical – does not suit him, it is untrue, false and lifeless."

Building on the above, let us look at a few specific situations. On May 15, 2017, representatives of the so-called Kiev Patriarchate beat a priest and seized the St. Peter and Paul Church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the village of Kinakhovtsy, Ternopol diocese.

Unfortunately, this is not the first such an occurrence. In recent years dozens of temples of the UOC have been raided by supporters of the Kyiv Patriarchate, and their parishioners have passed through the thorns of humiliation, insults, threats and violence.

Can’t the pain and suffering of these ordinary Ukrainians mean anything? Is it possible that some abstract idea, which actually shows itself as a trivial desire to profit by another's property, can be considered justified and socially necessary afterwards?

A similar question can be asked about the "anti-church" bills № 4128 and № 4511, which, according to experts, restrict the right to freedom of personal philosophy and religion, contain signs of discrimination and divide Ukrainian citizens on the religious ground. Moreover, their adoption can lead to new conflicts in the public and religious spheres of the country and also negatively affect the international image of Ukraine.
Can a good legislative initiative bring forth such destructive "fruit"? I think that for every sane person the answer is obvious.

Metropolitan ANTHONY, Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church


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What will happen if the Church of Greece recognizes the OCU?
it will put itself out of Orthodoxy
it will give rise to global recognition of the OCU by Local Churches
nothing will happen, the Greeks will be the first and the last to recognize the OCU
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