Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill's support for Putin's Ukraine war has fractured his church




  • In World
  • 2022-04-19 07:29:28Z
  • By The Week
Vladimir Putin, Patriarch Kirill
Vladimir Putin, Patriarch Kirill  

Russia's war in Ukraine is also something of a holy war. Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has long been a key ideological ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and at least tacit supporter of his military adventures. But his public support for Putin's bloody war in Ukraine has proved too much for many Orthodox Christians, especially the Ukrainians who fall under the authority of Kirill's Moscow Patriarchate.

Ukraine's Orthodox Christians were under the episcopal authority of Moscow from 1686 until 2019, when Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople - the first among equals of the 15 Eastern Orthodox patriarchs - granted Kyiv's request for independence. "More than half Ukraine's parishes rejected the decision and stayed under Moscow's jurisdiction," The New York Times reports, but Putin's invasion - and Kirill's support for it - changed that.

About half of Ukraine's 45 Orthodox dioceses have stopped mentioning Patriarch Kirill during prayers, a "de facto" cleaving from Moscow's authority, according to Russian religious scholar Sergei Chapnin at Fordham University. "How can you accept prayers for the patriarch who is blessing the soldiers trying to kill your son?" asked Andreas Loudaros, editor of Athens-based Orthodoxia.info.

Hundreds of Ukrainian Orthodox clergy have signed a petition from Archpriest Andriy Pinchuk accusing Kirill of committing "moral crimes by blessing the war against Ukraine" and asking global Orthodox leaders to sanction their Russian colleague for "heresy" in a rare church tribunal.

"By all accounts, a serious cleavage in the church appears inevitable, but the course of the war will determine its depth and the scar tissue left behind," the Times reports. And the rending isn't just in Ukraine.

Russian Orthodox-aligned churches in Northern Italy and Amsterdam have formally severed ties to the Moscow Patriarchate, many U.S. parishioners are switching churches, and Orthodox seminarians in France asked their bishop to break with Kirill. Orthodox priests in Russia have been fined or fired for criticizing the war.

The head of the Orthodox Church in Lithuania, Metropolitan Innokenty, "strongly" condemned "Russia's war against Ukraine," called for "greater church independence" from Moscow, and called Patriarch Kirill's "political statements about the war" his "personal opinion."

Kirill "should not have identified so much with President Putin and even called Russia's war against Ukraine 'sacred,'" Patriarch Bartholomew recently told a group of students. "It is damaging to the prestige of the whole of Orthodoxy because Orthodoxy doesn't support war, violence, terrorism," he told reporters.

You may also like

The sinking of Russia's flagship might be a bad sign for the U.S. Navy

Russia's sunken flagship Moskva is literally irreplaceable, its loss shrouded in questions

84 percent of GOP voters say the world would be better off if Biden weren't in office. 83 percent say the same of Putin.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Mom of U.S. veteran held in Ukraine speaks to son by phone
Mom of U.S. veteran held in Ukraine speaks to son by phone
  • US
  • 2022-06-29 20:44:30Z

The mother of a U.S. military veteran who went missing after he traveled to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia has spoken with her son by telephone...

Putin still wants most of Ukraine, war outlook grim -U.S. intelligence chief
Putin still wants most of Ukraine, war outlook grim -U.S. intelligence chief

Russian President Vladimir Putin still wants to take most of Ukraine and the picture for the war there remains "pretty grim," the top U.S. intelligence...

Syria to recognize Ukraine
Syria to recognize Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk regions
  • World
  • 2022-06-29 16:42:39Z

Syria said Wednesday it will recognize the "independence and sovereignty" of Ukraine's eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions and contacts will be established...

Caspian nations reaffirm pledge to keep foreign armies out
Caspian nations reaffirm pledge to keep foreign armies out
  • World
  • 2022-06-29 16:00:51Z

Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of the other four countries along the Caspian Sea on Wednesday reaffirmed their shared commitment to keep...

NATO invites Finland, Sweden to join and eyes
NATO invites Finland, Sweden to join and eyes 'direct threat' from Putin amid Ukraine war
  • World
  • 2022-06-29 14:50:24Z

NATO invited Finland and Sweden to join the alliance in the wake of Putin's war as Biden announced new American military deployments at a Madrid summit.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

  • 소상공인 대출
    (2022-04-20 04:00:53Z)

    Usually I don't read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and
    do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me.
    Thank you, very nice post.

    REPLY
  • ŽÁDOST O VÍZA KANADA
    (2022-04-29 09:14:54Z)

    The results were worth all your hard work. That's very perceptive and a good point.

    REPLY

Top News: World