Patriarch Kirill calls to pray for peace for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
The outgoing year was not easy for the entire Orthodox Church and especially for the Orthodox believers of Ukraine.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus during the annual Eparchial Assembly, which took place on December 21 in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, called everyone to heartfelt prayer for the unity of the Holy Churches and peace for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, according to the official website of the Moscow Patriarchate.
“Under these conditions, we should strengthen our prayer, since the prayer of the Church is a great might,” said the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church. “Back in September, the Holy Synod blessed to offer special fervent prayers for the unity of Holy Orthodoxy in all churches of the Russian Orthodox Church during the liturgy. And I urge each of you to a fervent, fearful, heartfelt prayer for the unity of the Holy Churches of God, for peace for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”
Patriarch Kirill noted that prayer requests for peace can be offered not only at worship services, but also at home prayer and during pilgrimages.
“Call on your parishioners to do this, give a hearty groan to the late martyr, Saint Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev, whose century of murder fell at the beginning of this year, so that he with his intercession would face the threat of new sufferings off the Ukrainian Church,” His Holiness Patriarch addressed the clergy and monastics.
In his address, the Primate of the Russian Church noted that recently the highest officials of Ukraine have frequented their referring to the believers of the canonical UOC as outsiders, "but this is about millions of citizens of Ukraine."
“In fact, the Synod of Constantinople and its patriarch took the side of the persecutors,” said His Holiness. “I speak about it with great pain because we are talking about the church authorities of the Local Church, which used to be Mother to us, about people with whom I have met so many times, prayed, and sought common understanding of what serves unity.”
“But the truth demands to say this is not for the first time. Recall the 20s, 30s of the last century, recall the time of St. Tikhon,” Patriarch Kirill recalled.
“We cannot perform the sacraments together with those who have entered into communion with those who have backslid into schism and even with those who have been excommunicated. We say "Christ among us" to those who are now being oppressed in Ukraine, those brothers with whom we feel complete solidarity. We admire their courage, humility, spiritual courage. We pray for them at every liturgy, we pray for the unity of our Local Church and the unity of Holy Orthodoxy in the world. But we cannot say the same words “Christ among us” to those who are on the same side not with the persecuted, but with the persecutors. Therefore, in the current situation, our Holy Synod made exactly the decision that could only be taken: "In view of the ongoing anti-canonical actions of the Constantinople Patriarchate, it is impossible to continue further Eucharistic communion with it," said Patriarch Kirill.