Ukraine-Russia conflict hits church

Ukraine’s Orthodox Church has declared itself autonomous, as Moscow warned the move could expose it to a hostile takeover by Kiev Read Full Article at RT.com

Ukraine-Russia conflict hits church

Ukraine-Russia conflict hits church

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has declared independence as Moscow warns the schism could lead to its disappearance

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) voted on Friday to declare independence and autocephaly from the Moscow Patriarchate, citing disagreements with Patriarch Kirill’s position on the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The UOC also proposed to renew talks with the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), a breakaway entity whose establishment by the Kiev authorities caused a schism in 2018.

“testifying to the complete independence and autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” according to a statement published on Friday. 

Ecumenical Patriarchate based in Istanbul. 

“deep, painful wound” in the body of the Church in Ukraine. For the dialogue to take place, however, the OCU needs to “stop the seizure of churches and the forced transfers of parishes from the UOC,” said the Council.

“to continue the negotiation process and the search for a strong and reasonable word that could stop the bloodshed.”

“another schism in Ukraine and the beginning of a rapid process” of UOC disappearing, Archpriest Andrei Novikov of the Moscow Patriarchate told TASS on Thursday.

“God forbid, if any decisions are made towards separation from the Russian Orthodox Church, this will definitely be another nationalist schism, an attempt to turn the UOC into a pocket political church of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky and the [Ukrainian Security Service] SBU,” said Novikov, calling such a move completely against the tradition and legacy of Orthodoxy.

“there are no canonical grounds, but only the political expediency of the current moment for the Ukrainian authorities.”

“defeated and betrayed its own cause.”