UOC responds to accusations of NSDC Secretary

Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary. Photo: facebook.com/V.D.Kotsaba

Let people rather than canons speak, said the UOC Chancellor in response to the criticism of the peacemaking initiatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, urged not mute the desire for peace of the Ukrainian people with information cannons. The hierarch responded to the criticism regarding the movement towards peace in the Donbass on his Facebook page.

On September 18, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine called the peace forums "anti-Ukrainian activity" and warned the organizers of criminal liability.

Metropolitan Anthony compared the discussions around the peacemaking process with the Gospel story, which describes Christ’s healing the man with a withered hand on Saturday and the indignation of the Pharisees about this. According to the interpretation of this story by St. John Chrysostom, Christ put the sick man in the middle (see Luke 6, 8) so that the Pharisees would be ashamed and their hearts softened with the sight of his suffering.

“If we bring these realities into the present-day time, then we want to ask several difficult questions,” the hierarch noted. “Can’t the death, injury, destruction and grief of ordinary people, our brothers and sisters, fail to soften the hearts of modern "scribes" and "Pharisees"? What other cup of suffering must we all drink so that real talk about peace, and not formulations justifying its rejection, can finally be heard from all sides? How much more can you drown out the aspiration of the majority of ordinary people, who are the real and only source of power in our country, with volleys of real and information cannons?"

Vladyka Anthony warned that the peacemaking process cannot last forever, and if one repels the desire for peace, guided by cliches, then there will be no one to reconcile.

“From the outside, the corresponding manipulations look like a persistent pushing-off of a drowning man from a lifebuoy,” he compared. “After all, the latter is ‘the wrong brand, the wrong shape, thrown by the wrong one, etc.’ The drowning man cannot stay on the water forever. And at some point, all these arguments will simply become irrelevant since there will be no one to save ...”

The hierarch called for dialogue and building the necessary communication.

“Let people rather than canons speak. And let love, kindness and mercy become the basis of this interaction. That mercy, which once, having broken the shackles of dry dogmas and morals deaf to someone else's grief, became the beginning of the miracle of healing the man with a withered hand,” resumed Metropolitan Anthony.

As reported, on September 21, within the framework of the peacekeeping initiatives of the UOC, the “People of Peace” forum will be held in the Sviatogorsk Lavra.

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